Blackstone Raises $30 Billion For "Largest Ever" Real Estate Drawdown Fund To Capitalize On Commercial Real Estate Crisis

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Apr 12, 2023 - 12:00 AM

Blackstone may have blocked investor redemptions from its REIT fund for the fourth month in a row, but that does not mean the CRE giant and world's largest commercial landlord is sitting on its hands as the CRE crisis goes from bad to worse.

On Tuesday, Blackstone announced it had raised $30.4 billion for its latest global real estate fund - the largest private equity drawdown fund ever raised - targeting opportunistic deals across sectors such as rental housing, hospitality and data centers as the private equity behemoth looks to double down on the industry. The fund, called Blackstone Real Estate Partners X, is 48% bigger than the asset management giant's previous real estate fund which closed in 2019, and is the largest of that type, according to PitchBook data going back to 2002.

Ken Caplan, Global Co-Head of Blackstone Real Estate, said, "We believe the current market is tailor-made for Blackstone Real Estate. We have made some of our best investments in periods characterized by the market volatility and dislocation we see today. Furthermore, sector selection has never been more critical as we witness the bifurcation of performance within real estate, which is favoring our high-conviction themes." There was no mention of the ongoing redemption halt at the company's massive BREIT fund.

“Pullback with all forms of capital will create opportunities,” said Kathleen McCarthy, global co-head of Blackstone Real Estate. “We can use our capital and expertise to capitalize on the moment for our investors.”

In other words, even as existing Blackstone investments are deeply underwater, the PE giant which now has $326 billion of investor capital under management - will seek to purchase distressed CRE assets during the coming downcycle,  becoming even more entrenched and an even greater monopoly in the sector.

Blackstone - the largest owner of commercial real estate globally - has been focusing its portfolio on logistics, rental housing, hospitality, lab office and data centers, shifting away from assets like traditional office and malls that are facing headwinds from a post-pandemic adoption of flexible work and surge in e-commerce, Reuters reported.

As we have been reporting extensively, the commercial real estate market - especially the office and mall segments - have come under huge stress over the past year due to a pullback across commercial-property lending, as borrowing costs skyrocketed. At the same time, the stocks of public real estate investment trusts have also suffered amid the uncertainty in the market and increasing concerns about certain property types such as offices.

The firm started to raise money for the large property drawdown fund last year. Three of its strategies - global, Asia and Europe - now have a total of $50 billion in capital commitments, the firm said.