Blackstone seeks $13.5bn for latest flagship secondaries fund

The Strategic Partners unit is also in market with its debut GP-leds-focused vehicle.

Blackstone’s Strategic Partners unit is seeking to raise at least 22 percent more with its latest flagship private equity secondaries fund than its predecessor vehicle, Secondaries Investor has learned.

The New York-headquartered firm is seeking $13.5 billion for Strategic Partners Fund IX, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

If successful, it would be the third-largest standalone pool of capital for secondaries after Ardian and Lexington Partners‘ $14 billion current flagships, according to Secondaries Investor data.

The firm is also seeking $2 billion for its GP Solutions fund, a dedicated vehicle to GP-led processes, the sources said.

Strategic Partners is led by global head Verdun Perry in New York.

In April, Blackstone president and chief operating officer Jonathan Gray said the firm would return to market “shortly” and would be targeting a higher number than its previous fund – the $11.1 billion Fund VIII, which closed in 2019.

Bloomberg in February reported on the fundraising targets for both of Strategic Partners’ private equity vehicles. It reported Fund IX’s target as between $12 billion and $13 billion.

In a May interview with Secondaries Investor, Strategic Partners’ Europe head Nik Morandi said the pandemic had changed LPs’ mindset on secondaries.

“There have been situations where LPs have reassessed their portfolios and covid will have been an exogenous factor that’s led them to reassess from the ground up,” Morandi said. LPs have questioned the levels of diversification across strategy, geography and timeframe and turned to the secondaries market as a way of freeing up capital and to rebalance, he added.

A spokeswoman for Blackstone declined to comment.