Florida commits $300m to Blackstone

The $126 billion pension system has made a sizable commitment to BREP VII as part of its overall goal of committing $6 billion to alternative investments over the next three years..

The Florida State Board of Administration has committed $300 million to The Blackstone Group’s seventh opportunistic real estate fund, Blackstone Real Estate Partners (BREP) VII. The fund has closed on more than $10 billion in equity commitments so far and is nearing its hard cap of $13 billion.

The $126 billion state pension system contributed to BREP VII as part of a plan to deploy $6 billion in alternative investments over the next three years. The system, which wants to spend $2.5 billion on private equity alone over that timeframe, has the capacity to maintain a speedy commitment pace. Earlier this year, Florida's state legislature authorised the system to boost its alternatives target to 20 percent. 

As PERE previously reported, Blackstone has raised $4 billion this year alone, according to people familiar with the situation. BREP VII, which focuses primarily on opportunistic real estate investments in the US and Canada, already has invested 10 percent of the capital it has raised. Blackstone declined to comment.

Launched in April 2011 and holding a first close on $4 billion just four months later, BREP VII has attracted capital from a number of large investors such as the New Jersey Division of Investment, the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System, the Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois and the State of Wisconsin Investment Board. Additionally, the National Pension Service of Korea committed $300 million to BREP VII as part of a strategy to increase its exposure to opportunistic investments.

Additional reporting by Evelyn Lee