Blackstone Group raised $17 billion in seven months for its latest buyout fund, two people with knowledge of the process said.
The firm completed the initial round of fundraising for Blackstone Capital Partners VII and will continue to gather commitments, said the people, who requested anonymity because the details are typically kept private until funds stop accepting money. Blackstone targeted $16 billion for the pool and set a maximum of $17.5 billion, President Hamilton “Tony” James said last month.
Peter Rose, a Blackstone spokesman, declined to comment on fundraising.
The initial close is among the biggest in the history of Blackstone, which manages $310 billion in assets. It's also one of the largest funds raised since the 2008 financial crisis and comes as private equity clients are flush with cash. Investors in such funds received distributions of more than $1 trillion during the 18 months ended June 2014, which in turn has helped firms raise more than $1 trillion globally in the past two years, according to alternative investment research firm Preqin.
Apollo Global Management last year finished gathering $18.4 billion for the biggest private equity fund raised since the crisis.
Blackstone's private equity unit is investing its sixth fund, which completed gathering $16 billion in 2012. The pool was producing a 14% annualized return after fees and was valued at 1.4 times cost as of March 31.
Investors in Blackstone Capital Partners VII include the $77.1 billion New Jersey Pension Fund, Trenton; $62 billion Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, Boston; $49 billion Los Angeles County Employees' Retirement Association, Pasadena, Calif.; and $44.8 billion Illinois Teachers' Retirement System, Springfield.