Blackstone Group raises $17bn for seventh fund

Blackstone's seventh PE fund seeks to make 25 to 40 investments in deals valued between $300m to $800m each

The Blackstone Group has amassed $17 billion for its seventh global buyout fund, according to sources with knowledge of the fundraising.

The New York-headquartered private equity firm, which held a meeting with its limited partners on Thursday, expects to meet its hard cap of $17.5 billion on the fund in the coming weeks due to securing additional commitments from investors, said one source. Blackstone distributed its offering memorandum for Blackstone Capital Partners VII in November 2014.

Blackstone officials declined to comment on the fundraising.

The firm has received the support of some well-recognized LPs in Blackstone Capital Partners VII. According to pension fund disclosure documents, the Oregon Investment Council (OIC) planned to commit $500 million to the buyout vehicle as Private Equity International reported earlier this month, while The Teachers' Retirement System of Illinois planned to commit $150 million to Blackstone for “private equity opportunities”.

Blackstone made it into the top five slot of this year's annual PEI 300 ranking, placing fourth in the annual analysis of the capital-raising activities of the world's largest private equity funds, having raised $25.5 billion over the last five years of fundraising. 

The firm is offering economic incentives for limited partners in respect to the fund's first close commitments, including an 8 percent preferred return and 100 percent offset in management fee, according to the OIC report. Blackstone plans to deploy capital from its seventh fund in 25 to 40 portfolio investments valued between $300 million and $800 million each, according to the OIC. 

Blackstone, a firm with a $28.7 billion market cap, saw its shares (NYSE: BX) climb 1.2 percent in afternoon trading on Friday to $42.79 each.