Investment

Blackstone nears $20 billion for flagship buyout fund

Blackstone/Bloomberg

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The New York-based firm notified investors that the first close for its eighth buyout fund may be in March or early April.

Thursday 07, March 2019

(Bloomberg) --Blackstone Group expects to reach about $20 billion when it completes the first phase of capital raising for its flagship fund, signalling the appetite for private equity has yet to wane.

Blackstone hasn’t yet set a limit for the fund’s size as it approaches a record for its buyout pools.

Blackstone and its peers are benefiting from the strong demand for private equity, which has been outperforming other asset classes and hedge funds. The firm, which manages $472 billion, said in January that it planned to take in $100 billion this year.

The company, which started its private equity business in 1987, raised its largest buyout pool with $21.7 billion at the height of the market in 2007. After the financial crisis, it took Blackstone almost four years to gather $16 billion for its next fund.

Today private equity companies are speeding back to market to take advantage of the wave of client interest in their long-term strategies. Blackstone held a final close of $18 billion on its last main buyout fund at the end of 2015. That fund was about 56 per cent invested at the end of last year, according to a regulatory filing.

Blackstone, the world’s largest alternative asset manager, started talking to potential investors last year about its eighth fund, which was expected to seek more than $20 billion.

While the money is pouring in, good deals are hard to find. Private equity firms sat on more than $2 trillion of capital as of June, in a market where asset prices are at record levels, according to Preqin.

TAGS : Blackstone Group, private equity fund

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