South Dakota backs Blackstone VII with $100m

 The South Dakota Investment Council maintains its commitment to Blackstone’s private equity funds.   

The South Dakota Investment Council (SDIC), the $11.5 billion investment arm of the South Dakota state government has committed $100 million to Blackstone's latest global buyout fund, according to the minutes of its April investment council meeting.

The minutes published this week noted that the SDIC had met with Blackstone senior managing director and chief operating officer officials Vik Sawhney and senior managing director Robert McMullan to discuss the Blackstone Capital Partners VII fund (BCP VII). The fund has a $15 billion target.

According to the SDIC's latest annual report for the fiscal year ending June 2014, the LP has committed $298 million, or 2.5% of its assets to Blackstone, followed by Silver Lake with $149 million, representing 1.4 percent, and Cinven with $117 million of commitments, equivalent to 1.1 percent.

Its total allocation to private equity was 9 percent, or $960 million of a total of $10.6 billion of assets.

The SDIC began investing in real estate and private equity partnerships in the mid-1990s. Its commitment to the BCP VII fund is in line with its previous investment strategy, including in BCP V in 2004, BCP VI in 2011, and $50 million to Blackstone Energy Partners II.

The executive board of the SDIC, which was established in 1971 by the state legislature of South Dakota, is planning to hold its next meeting on 24 August.

The SDIC oversees several state plan entities including the Cement Plan Retirement Fund, the Dakota Cement Trust, and the Healthcare Trust.