Blackstone raises $30 bln in Q1 fundraising bonanza

  • Blackstone Real Estate Partners VIII draws in nearly $15 bln
  • Tactical Opportunities Fund II tops $3 bln
  • Vintage 2006 BCP V fund returns 100 pct of invested capital

It’s also nearing a first close for its latest flagship private equity fund, Blackstone Capital Partners VII, slated for the second quarter. The firm did not provide a dollar update for the pool, but said its hard cap is $17.5 billion.

Chairman and CEO Stephen Schwarzman described the quarter’s $30 billion fundraising total as “astonishing.”

The fresh capital drove Blackstone’s assets under management to more than $310 billion.

“Despite our significant growth, I do not believe Blackstone is in any way at a long term peak given the amount of assets we’re managing today and the amount of capital we’re putting in the ground,” Schwarzman said on a conference call with analysts.

Blackstone said Blackstone Real Estate Partners VIII drew a record-setting $15.8 billion in commitments in a few months. The fund made its inaugural investment as part of Blackstone’s deal to buy real estate assets from GE Capital, announced April 10.

Blackstone’s predecessor real estate fund, Fund VII, reported a 1.9x multiple of invested capital and an IRR of 39 percent, as of March 31.

Among its other big funds, Blackstone said its Tactical Opportunities Fund II has raised a total of $3.1 billion. Blackstone Energy Partners II has drawn in $4.4 billion, including $365 million during the quarter.

In another milestone, Blackstone’s largest buyout fund, the roughly $22 billion Blackstone Capital Partners V from 2006, returned 100 percent of its committed capital as of the end of the first quarter. It also has $19 billion of value at current asset levels yet to be realized.

The fund made $1.8 billion in realizations during the quarter. Fund V’s initial public offering of Summit Materials helped it appreciate by 12 percent. All told, the fund’s multiple of investment capital as of March 31 stood at 1.9x, with a net IRR of 11 percent.