Illinois Municipal invests in second Blackstone Asia fund

The US public pension fund has agreed to invest up to $100m in Blackstone’s second Asia-focused private equity real estate fund.

The Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), the Oak Brook-headquartered US public pension fund, has agreed to commit up to $100 million to Blackstone’s second Asia private equity real estate fund.

According to the minutes of a March board meeting, IMRF’s board of trustees have approved the investment in the Blackstone Real Estate Partners Asia II, subject to legal due diligence.

News of Blackstone plotting its second Asia-focused vehicle was first published by Reuters in January this year. According to the report, the New York-based asset manager is targeting to raise at least $5 billion.

Blackstone did not respond to email queries on whether IMRF is an anchor investor in BREP II.

IMRF has also invested $100 million in Blackstone Real Estate Partners (BREP) Asia, as per PERE data. Overall, the pension fund has committed a total of $450 million across different markets and geographies with Blackstone, as per the minutes of the meeting.

The fund launch comes two years after the record $5.08 billion haul for Blackstone’s maiden private real estate fund in Asia, BREP Asia. In December, 2014 the firm closed the vehicle at its hard cap, becoming the region’s largest private real estate investment vehicle at the time. The fund is believed to be over 70 percent deployed.

With $36.2 billion in assets under management, IMRF currently has 5.5 percent invested in real estate, and eventually targets to increase the allocation to 8 percent.