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CalPERS commits $500m to Blackstone

The $184bn pension, struggling with the denominator effect, committed $750m to Blackstone’s previous buyout vehicle. CalPERS documents confirmed rumours that Blackstone has lowered its fund target to between $15bn and $20bn.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System has committed $500 million to The Blackstone Group’s latest buyout vehicle.

It is the first time the $184 billion pension, which is struggling against an overweighted allocation to alternatives, has invested less in a new Blackstone fund than it did with its predecessor. CalPERS committed $750 million to Blackstone’s fifth buyout fund in 2006.

In total, CalPERS has roughly $2 billion tied up with the New York-based buyout shop, representing 3.3 percent of its alternatives portfolio.

CalPERS’ investment committee documents also confirm reports that Blackstone is lowering the initial $20 billion target for Blackstone Capital Partners VI to between $15 billion and $20 billion.

CalPERS is not the only high-profile limited partner to lower its commitment level to Blackstone. Earlier this year, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System committed $250 million to the Steve Schwarzman-led firm, down from the $1.7 billion it invested in the prior fund.

In addition to the Blackstone investment, CalPERS also disclosed a $100 million commitment to life science venture firm Aisling Capital and €150 million to listed European firm Candover Partners.

Aisling is raising its third fund to invest in mid-to-late stage venture capital and growth capital investments in life sciences companies, according to CalPERS documents. The fund, which is targeting $650 million in commitments, represents a re-up for CalPERS.

Candover is raising €5 billion for European mid-to-large capital companies with enterprise values of €200 million to €500 million.