The private equity coffers are primed for M&A deals in 2017,  thanks to successful fundraising in 2016. (See related chart). The dollars raised were on par with 2014, the best year since the financial crisis, according to preliminary data from Preqin. Providing further call for optimism about future dealmaking, a record number of new private equity funds are currently being marketed to investors, who have warmed to the asset class.

The total amount raised in 2016 by PE funds globally was $345 billion, based on data collected by Jan. 3. As more information becomes available, the figures are expected to rise by up to 10 percent, which would put 2016 beyond the post-crisis record of $348 billion raised in 2014.

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