Blackstone Raises $9.4 Bn for Asia Realty and PE Funds

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US private equity (PE) behemoth Blackstone Group Lp said it has raised $9.4 billion for two Asia-focused private equity funds, signalling the increasing focus of the global private equity industry on Asia. Blackstone closed its first Asia private equity fund at about $2.3 billion, while it separately raised $7.1 billion for its second regional “opportunistic” real estate fund, the New York-based firm said in two separate statements. The development holds major significance given that this is the first time that Blackstone has raised a dedicated private equity fund for Asia. Until now, it had been investing in Asia from its global buyout funds. “We are thankful for our investors’ support and believe we are well-positioned to seize the ongoing opportunities in Asia. The region continues to experience strong growth compared to other major markets, presenting compelling investment opportunities across sectors,” Joe Baratta, Blackstone’s global head of private equity, said in a statement. Blackstone manages approximately $111 billion of assets under its private equity business. With the recent fund raising, the US-based firm has joined the league of other global PE firms such as KKR & Co., Carlyle, TPG and Bain Capital, which either already have dedicated Asia funds or are raising one.