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March 13 (Reuters) - TPG Capital Management LP is planning to launch its first real estate fund with a target of at least $1 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported, as the private equity firm looks to join its rivals in pursuing real estate deals.
The company expects to start raising money for the fund in the second half of 2013, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.
If TPG raises that amount, it would be the second-largest initial property fund ever, trailing only the $1.6 billion that Lehman Brothers raised in 2001 with its first fund, the Journal said.
Rivals Blackstone Group LP, Carlyle Group LP and KKR & Co LP already have funds to tap into the real estate market. Blackstone has more than $54 billion of property assets under management.
TPG officials acknowledged plans to raise a fund, but declined to discuss specifics or timing, the Journal said. The company could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters outside of regular U.S. business hours.