2011 proved a busy year for private equity investors as firms like Tegel and Burger King changed hands.
The New Zealand Private Equity and Venture Capital Monitor shows total investment reached $554 million in 2011, an 88% increase on 2010.
Ernst and Young partner Andrew Taylor says that's a very strong pickup, and takes total investment to levels last recorded in 2007.
He says in 2011 there has been strong performance among mid-market funds and significant transactions among private equity funds.
While investment picked up in mid-market firms, worth more than $25 million, smaller firms didn't fare as well.
Investment in so-called venture firms fell from $94 to $37 million during the year, and Mr Taylor says it has been modest for a few years.
He says there has been some good progress in terms of the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund and other initiatives that the industry has been talking to the Government about.
But Mr Taylor says venture capital hasn't been as plentiful as the mid-market and larger end private equity segment of the market.