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Blackstone sets US$25b limit on oversubscribed buyout fund

[NEW YORK] Blackstone Group set a US$25 billion cap on its latest flagship buyout fund as investors clamor to get into the offering, according to people familiar with the matter.

New York-based Blackstone has attracted more interest from investors for its eighth private equity fund than it's willing to handle, said the people. At US$25 billion, Blackstone would exceed Apollo Global Management's US$24.7 billion fund, an industry record.

Blackstone and its peers are benefiting from a robust fundraising market as investors continue to express confidence in the return potential for the asset class. Private equity firms raised US$432 billion last year, short of 2017's record haul.

While investors are concerned about high deal prices, many are upping their allocations to the asset class, according to a survey by Preqin released in April. The survey found that 68 per cent of investors were as confident as last year that private equity would deliver in 2019.

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A Blackstone spokesperson declined to comment.

Blackstone, the world's largest alternatives manager with US$512 billion in assets under management, held a first close of more than US$22 billion on its flagship fund in March.

Blackstone's global private equity business, led by Joseph Baratta since 2012, also manages funds focused on energy and investments in Asia.