Blackstone writes down fund

US private equity giant Blackstone has written off 35% of the value of its fifth fund according to a Reuters report.

In a public announcement last week, the firm reported a Q4 loss of US$827.1m, and wiped 20% off the value of its entire private equity portfolio. A letter sent to investors was more detailed.

The five funds which were mentioned in the letter – funds II to V and communications and media vehicle – made an aggregate loss over the year of 31%.

Blackstone raised just over US$20bn for its fifth fund in August 2007, the largest private equity fund ever.

Investments in the fund according to Thomson Reuters data include Center Parcs UK, Hospitality Europe, the Nielsen Company (formerly VNU), Trianon Palace Hotel de Versailles, Merlin Entertainments and United Biscuits.

Whilst Fund V lost 35%, 2002’s Fund IV was written down 17% and Fund II 2%.

This hasn’t dissuaded Blackstone from going for a sixth fund, which it expects to start investing from by the end of the year or early 2010. It has reportedly raised US$8bn so far, with an original target of US$20m.