Blackstone closes latest energy fund on $4.5 billion

Despite tumbling oil prices, Blackstone’s new fund was oversubscribed

Even though the slide in oil prices has been top of mind for many in financial markets since the end of last year, Blackstone has closed its latest energy vehicle – Blackstone Energy Partners II on $4.5 billion. The fund was oversubscribed and beat its hard-cap.

The new fundraise comes on the heels of Blackstone Energy Partners I which closed just two years ago on $2.4 billion.

Both funds will invest in control-oriented equity and equity-linked stakes in energy and natural resources. Blackstone’s $16 billion diversified global private equity fund will also continue to invest alongside both funds on a 50/50 basis for energy transactions.

The announcement comes at a time when a handful of other mega firms are solidifying their own energy vehicles. As PEI reported last week, Riverstone Holdings is in market for an $8 billion fund that will make energy investments. Carlyle too, is raising another billion dollar energy fund, with an additional $9 billion in dry powder on tap.  Warburg Pincus also closed a $4 billion energy fund late last year.

Blackstone chairman and CEO Steven Schwarzman has said oil represents a big opportunity for the firm. His view echos the sentiments of other value players that have come off the sidelines recently to take advantage of cheap and slightly distressed assets coming to market as oil stays well below the $100/barrel prices of early last year.