U.S. Markets closed

Apollo raises largest private equity fund since financial crisis

Apollo Management LP Managing Partner Leon Black speaks at the panel discussion "Global Opportunities in Private Equity" at The Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California May 2, 2011. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Apollo Global Management LLC said on Thursday it had completed fundraising for its latest flagship private equity fund, amassing $17.5 billion from investors, the most any such fund has raised since the financial crisis.

Apollo and its investment professionals committed an additional $880 million toward the fund, dubbed Apollo Investment Fund VIII, the New York-based firm said in a statement.

"Fund VIII benefited from the support of a diversified group of investors, including many public pensions, sovereign wealth funds, corporate pensions, endowments and foundations, funds of funds and high net worth investors," Apollo Chief Executive Leon Black said in a statement.

Apollo's previous flagship fund, the $14.7 billion Fund VII, has been one of best-performing private equity funds raised in 2008. The fund generated, from inception to the end of September, gross and net annual internal return rates of 38 percent and 29 percent, respectively, according to Apollo.

Apollo's private equity funds focus mainly on distressed investments, corporate carve-outs and opportunistic buyouts. Apollo had $113 billion in assets under management as of the end of September, $43 billion of which was in private equity.

(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; editing by Matthew Lewis)