NEW YORK, Sept 5 Blackstone Group LP, the
largest publicly listed alternative asset manager, said on
Wednesday it raised just over $2.5 billion for its first
energy-focused private equity fund, as it seeks to ride a wave
of energy deals in the United States.
The U.S. oil and gas sector has attracted some of the
largest leveraged buyouts of the last 12 months, including the
$7.2 billion acquisition of Samson Investment Co by a consortium
led by KKR & Co LP and El Paso's $7.15 billion
divestment of assets to an Apollo Global Management LLC
Blackstone's fund, Blackstone Energy Partners, has already
committed more than $965 million in six investments. In
February, Blackstone agreed to invest $2 billion in Cheniere
Energy Partners LP, a deal that will help Cheniere
finance construction of a gas-liquefaction plant in Louisiana
for export markets.
Blackstone said it invested or committed about $6.3 billion
in 21 energy and natural resource deals around the world since
it made the first one in 1997, generating through the most
recent quarter a 37 percent net internal rate of return, without
a single realized loss of capital.
Over the comparable period, these investments had internal
rates of return that were over four times that of the S&P Energy
Sector Index and over six times the S&P 500 Index, Blackstone