Woori mulls $300m commitment to Blackstone

South Korea’s Woori Financial may help Blackstone get closer to its revised $15bn target for its sixth global fund.

Seoul-based banking and financial services conglomerate Woori Financial Group is considering investing up to $300 million in Blackstone Capital Partners VI, which is targeting commitments of $15 billion.

“It’s not been decided yet. We are still discussing a commitment of up to $300 million. The $300 million, if committed, will be an aggregate of commitments made by various subsidiaries of the Woori Financial Group,” a source at Woori told sister news site PEI Asia. Senior management at Woori is holding discussions both internally and with regulatory bodies about the investment, and it is still too soon to say when a decision might be made, the source said.

The commitment would be the first Blackstone investment by Woori, which is 73 percent-owned by the South Korean government. 

The global buyout firm had collected roughly $8 billion in commitments for Blackstone VI as of February. The fund’s target was lowered to $15 billion from $20 billion in 2008.

Amongst its LPs it counts the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, which has committed $500 million; the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, which has committed $271 million; the Teachers’ Retirement System of Illinois, with $150 million; and Cathay Life Insurance, one of Taiwan’s largest insurance companies, which has invested $100 million.

Its predecessor fund, Blackstone Capital Partners V, closed on $21.7 billion in 2006.

Woori Financial Group also has its own Korea-focused private equity subsidiary Woori Private Equity, which invests capital raised from third party investors.