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Blackstone closes fund on $15.6bn

The new vehicle will be the world’s largest buyout fund, setting a new record as rival firms prepare close in on similar megafunds. Already, the new fund is 25 percent committed to deals.

The Blackstone Group closed its latest buyout fund today at $15.6 billion (€12.2 billion), making it the largest of its kind in the world.

Blackstone Capital Partners V, like its predecessor funds, will invest across a broad range of sectors and geographical locations, although it will target larger deals. The vehicle has already announced investments in US-based Michaels Stores and Encore Medical Corporation, Germany’s Deutsche Telekom, The Netherlands’ VNU NV, UK-based Centre Parks and globally-based Cendant’s Travelport unit. The investments already committed account for 25 percent of the new fund’s available capital.

The closing comes at a time when other firms are also closing large funds. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts is seeking a possible $15.5 billion or more for its new global buyout fund. Texas Pacific Group continues to raise close to $15 billion for its latest fund, and UK-based Permira recently held a first close at a little over $12.8 billion, with more commitments expected soon.

Earlier this year Blackstone reportedly was looking to close their fund at $13 billion, but then decided to go to investors and ask to increase the fund size to $15 billion.

Blackstone’s previous fund closed in 2002 at $6.45 billion. The firm currently has investments in 45 portfolio companies with combined annual revenues in excess of $72bn and employing approximately 350,000 people.

In the past twelve months The Blackstone Group has raised fully $30 billion across many of its business lines, including private equity, real estate, corporate debt, hedge funds and funds of hedge funds, according to the firm.

Blackstone also currently commands the largest private equity real estate fund in the world, at $5.25 billion.

In a statement, Blackstone chairman and chief executive Stephen Schwarzman said, “This record-breaking amount of capital now at our disposal will allow us to undertake transactions of a size and complexity that was inconceivable just a few years ago, and at a level where there is far less competition for high quality assets.”

Helping with the fundraise was Blackstone-affiliated placement agent Park Hill Group.