Blackstone European fund outpaces others with $3.9 bln raised in Q4

  • Blackstone dry powder reaches $47 bln for deals
  • Largest buyout firm’s AUM $267 bln, up 26%
  • Tactical Opportunities fund hits $5 bln

Blackstone’s fourth European fund now tips the scales at $5.6 billion, approaching its hard cap of $6.9 billion, signaling LP interest in deals in the region as it moves further along the road to economic recovery.

Blackstone ended the year with a record $46.8 billion in dry powder, including $17.7 billion in available capital for private equity investments and $17.1 billion for real estate.

Firing on all cylinders in the quarter, the firm led by Stephen Schwarzman reported a 37 percent net IRR for its vintage 2003 flagship fund, Blackstone Capital Partners IV, while the vintage 2006 Blackstone Capital Partners V logged a 1.5x multiple of invested capital, with 46 percent of the fund assets public.

On the strength of this track record, Blackstone drew $1.5 billion in capital commitments during the quarter for its tactical opportunities strategy to invest in new alternative asset classes, for a total of $5.1 billion raised. It also held an initial close on its latest Strategic Partners secondary fund of funds with $688 million.

Blackstone also drew in $1.5 billion to reach a total of $3.2 billion on its first Asian real estate fund, which has a hard cap of $5 billion.

On the exit front, Blackstone announced the sales of Mivisa, Apria and GeoSouthern with a combined $2.7 billion of proceeds at closing. Blackstone’s initial public offerings of Merlin and Hilton created a combined $5.4 billion of public market capitalization.  Blackstone also took Extended Stay and Brixmor Property Group public during the quarter .

All told, Blackstone said economic net income jumped to $1.54 billion from $670 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.

“Is it amazing to see the power of this place when it fires on all cylinders at once,” President Tony James said in a conference call.