The Blackstone Group has collected about $750 million for its debut energy partners’ fund that is targeting between $2 billion and $3 billion, according to sources and filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
The fund, which has a broad mandate for energy investments in various strategies like power, alternative energies and natural resources, has commitments for up to $1 billion, according to market sources.
The firm declined to comment.
Capital from the fund has already been used for an investment in Germany’s first wind farm financed by the private sector. Equity for the deal, valued at €1.2 billion, came from Blackstone’s sixth fund, which has collected $15 billion, and the energy partners’ fund.
Blackstone’s energy team is led by David Foley and Prakash Melwani. The firm has a long track record of energy investments, but launched the separate fund to be able to take full advantage of the large amounts of energy-related opportunities, according to a person with knowledge of the fund.
Also, the firm did not want to have over-exposure to energy-related investments in the general private equity fund, the person said.
Blackstone Energy Partners follows the firm’s failed effort to raise a clean technology-dedicated fund that only collected a small portion of its target. That fund was launched in 2008 and couldn’t break through the fundraising malaise in the downturn.
Blackstone has also been raising Fund VI since 2008 and has collected $15 billion, making it the largest fund raised in several years. Fund VI is not officially closed and is being held open for some last minute LPs, but the vehicle started investing earlier this year.