PE fund briefs, week of March 31, 2008

Blackstone postpones fund close

The Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX) has postponed a first close on its new buyout fund, which was scheduled to close April 11. The firm has set the new close date in late June.

The firm blames the tortoise-slow deal environment, as Blackstone’s current fund has way more dry powder than what was expected at this point in 2008. The firm did put more money to work in the fourth quarter of 2007 than in any other quarter in the firm’s history, thanks largely to a $20 billion acquisition of Hilton Hotels Corp. But it’s been very slow going ever since that deal was consummated in October.

It’s also worth noting that this fund-raising drive is expected to mirror past Blackstone efforts, which means no definitive target or final close date. Similarly, the firm’s current fund closed on $22 billion in mid-2007 after coming to market in 2004 with a $10 billion target. —Dan Primack

Asia FoF raises $138M

Asia Alternatives of San Francisco has held a $138 million first close for its second fund of funds targeting the Asia market, according to a regulatory filing. No target information was disclosed.

C.P. Eaton Partners is serving as placement agent.

Asia Alternatives last year closed its debut fund of funds with $515 million. Limited partners included CalTech, California Public Employees’ Retirement System, Comprehensive Financial Management, Mass Mutual Asia, Mass Mutual Japan, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., OHIM Asia Investors (affiliate of Oak Hill Investment Management), Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System, Warren Hellman and Arthur Rock.

Newbury wraps up secondaries fund

Newbury Partners has closed its debut secondaries fund with $702 million in capital commitments, as first reported by Private Equity Insider.

The firm was founded in late 2006 by former professionals at Auda Private Equity. It used Citigroup as fund placement agent.