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Blackstone raises more than $1 bln from CalPERS this year

  • CalPERS committed $560 mln to Blackstone in May, June
  • Includes $500 mln commitment to Blackstone VII
  • Commits heavily to Tactical Opportunities platform

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System committed $560 million to an investment fund and to a co-investment managed by Blackstone Group in May and June, bringing its total commitments to Blackstone Group funds this year to more than $1.1 billion, according to investment reports included in the pension’s August meeting materials.

CalPERS in May committed $500 million to the firm’s latest flagship fund, Blackstone Capital Partners VII. Blackstone, which manages more than $2.5 billion of CalPERS commitments, has seen strong demand for the fund. LP interest exceeds the $17.5 billion hard cap, according to a recent earnings report.

The following month the $300 billion retirement system committed $60 million to a co-investment vehicle called Blackstone Tactical Opportunities Fund (T4U Co-Invest) LP. The vehicle is likely related to Blackstone-backed Phoenix Tower International’s June acquisition of T4U Holding Brasil, a portfolio of wireless towers.

The more than $1.1 billion CalPERS has allocated to Blackstone Group this year includes $660 million in commitments to co-investments and funds managed by the firm’s tactical opportunities arm, a multi-strategy platform that includes private equity, real estate and credit investments, according to retirement system documents. Blackstone Group raised $1.2 billion through its tactical opportunities platform during the second quarter, according to its earnings report.

Blackstone and CalPERS could not be reached for comment.

In addition to its commitments to Blackstone Group, CalPERS also committed 87.5 million euros ($96 million) to a vehicle called Wigmore Street Co-Invest No. 1. CalPERS documents do not disclose what firm manages the Wigmore Street vehicle.

CalPERS had a 9.6 percent allocation to private equity as of June 30, according to retirement system meeting materials. The pension is 0.4 percentage points short of its 10 percent target for the asset class.