Blackstone starts Q4 with $38.4bn in RE dry powder

The firm spent the third quarter investing largely outside of the US, including two major purchases in Europe.

Blackstone is sitting on $38.4 billion in dry powder across its real estate products, up 7 percent from last quarter and up 2.4 percent year-on-year, according to its third-quarter earnings report released Thursday.

The New York-based firm saw a greater jump in its committed capital, with a 10.3 percent increase in commitments year-on-year to $121.3 billion across real estate equity and debt strategies as of September 30.

Using that capital, Blackstone had an active investing quarter internationally. Of the $6.7 billion the firm deployed during the third quarter, 60 percent was outside the US. Major investments include the acquisition of Helsinki-listed real estate investment company Sponda for €1.76 billion in partnership with Stockholm-based private equity real estate firm Areim, which is co-investing about 10 percent of the capital, PERE previously reported. Capital for the purchase came from Blackstone Real Estate Partners Europe V and BREP VIII, Blackstone’s global opportunistic fund, PERE understands.

In another significant European investment, Blackstone agreed to buy a majority stake in the property portfolio of Santander-owned Banco Popular for about €5 billion. The firm is purchasing a 51 percent stake in the real estate assets, worth about €18 billion, and non-performing loans, worth €12 billion, through BREP Europe V, PERE previously reported.

BREP Europe V, a $7.8 billion fund that closed in June, had $5.9 billion of available capital as of September 30. PERE understands that BREP Europe IV, a $6.7 billion fund, is finished actively investing. Its $1.4 billion in dry powder can be used for follow-on investing relating to existing fund transactions, while new deals are capitalized through BREP Europe V.

In Blackstone’s other product offerings, the firm has $18 billion of assets under management for its core-plus platform, up 36 percent year-on-year.

The firm’s real estate AUM hit $111.3 billion as of September 30, up 9 percent year-on-year, while its total AUM rose 7 percent year-on-year to $387.4 billion.