Exclusive-Blackstone set to raise as much as $10 billion for tactical opportunities

By Chibuike Oguh

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Blackstone Inc, the world’s largest private equity firm, is set to raise as much as $10 billion for its tactical opportunities strategy, which gives it versatility to invest in a range of assets, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Blackstone has amassed about $5 billion for the Blackstone Tactical Opportunities Fund IV, which was initially aiming to raise only $4 billion, Reuters previously reported. It has also raised an extra $5 billion in separately managed accounts from investors that will invest alongside the main fund, said the sources, who declined to named because the matter is confidential.

A Blackstone spokesperson declined to comment.

Blackstone markets its tactical opportunities funds as products that provide “opportunistic capital”, which is not limited to any industry, geography, or specific group of assets, enabling it to make investments from data centers and ports to dating apps and women’s wear.

Blackstone has raised three previous tactical opportunities funds that cumulatively collected about $16.4 billion from investors since the first of them was first launched in 2012.

The $6.7 billion Blackstone Tactical Opportunities Fund II and the Tactical Opportunities Fund III, which raised $4.09 billion, had generated a net internal rate of return of 14.1% and 11.7%, respectively, as of June last year, according to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.

Through this strategy, Blackstone acquired a majority stake in women’s wear brand SPANX Inc in a deal that valued the firm at $1.2 billion, and it paid $3 billion for control of dating app Bumble Inc before its initial public offering in 2021. It has also acquired packaging products firm Sustana Group and ZO Skin Health, a California-based cosmetics company.

Blackstone’s tactical opportunities division has about $34 billion in assets under management. The unit is run by David Blitzer, who is an avid investor in sports teams, including English soccer club Crystal Palace, the New Jersey Devils of the U.S. hockey league, and the National Basketball Association’s Philadelphia 76ers.

(Reporting by Chibuike Oguh in New York; Editing by Stephen Coates)