Blackstone to invest $2bn alongside Korean pension fund

Earlier this month, the pension fund struck similar deals with private equity firms, Oaktree Capital and MBK Partners.

Global private equity firm The Blackstone Group has signed a memorandum of understanding with the W229 trillion ($183 billion; €140 billion) National Pension Service, to invest up to $2bn in undervalued stocks, bonds and real estate in the Korean financial market.

The National Pension Service will invest at least the same amount, although the time frame has not been decided, Daeh-hwan Kwag, the pension fund’s head of global investments, told PEO.

Just three weeks earlier, the National Pension Service agreed to two similar deals with Seoul-based private equity firm MBK Partners and distressed investment specialist Oaktree Capital Management.

The National Pension Service struck a strategic partnership with MBK to explore investment opportunities in Korea. MBK will invest up to $2 billion in the strategic partnership on a transaction-by-transaction basis, with no definite time frame. The pension fund declined to coment on its investment amount.

The pension fund recently entered into another strategic partnership with Oaktree, also to pursue Korean investments. The pension’s contribution to Oaktree’s private equity, real estate and special situations opportunities will either be pursued by way of co-investments or via commitments to Oaktree funds, said Kwag.

Currently the National Pension Service allocates 2.9 percent of total assets to alternatives, although it can have a maximum allocation of 10 percent to the asset class. It intends to increase its allocation to private equity funds over the next five years, Kwag told PEO in March.

Founded in 1985, Blackstone is a publicly listed private equity firm and a PEI50 firm. Headquartered in New York, it has offices in Atlanta, Beijing, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Mumbai, Paris, San Francisco and Tokyo.