The Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX) has closed its Blackstone Capital Partners VI fund on $13.5 billion of committed capital, just below its revised target of $15 billion. Originally, when the firm began fundraising in October 2007, it was hoping to secure $20 billion. The fund brings Blackstone's PE dry powder to about $16.5 billion, with $3 billion still remaining in its $21.7 billion fifth fund. The firm plans to begin investing in Asia and other emerging markets first, then in North America and Europe as the economies stabilize. The fund will also invest in fewer multi-billion dollar take-privates, according to Blackstone.
Private fundraising remains tough, especially for the mega funds. Blackstone is the first U.S. PE firm this year to close a fund over $5 billion, and it took the firm three years to get to its current mark. PE fundraising does appear to be getting back on track with the second quarter representing the third straight quarter-over-quarter increase in fund closings.