About That Blackstone “Final” Fund Close…

During a media call last Thursday, Blackstone Group president Tony James said: “We’ve had first closings in our cleantech fund and a final closing for BCP VI. We have a few investors still completing documentation and we current anticipate BCP VI to end up at approximately $13.5 billion.”

Seems I heard the first part (final closing for BCP VI) and not the contradictory second part. But I got kind of curious, when the Oregon Investment Council approved a $200 million commitment to BCP VI this week. And then an LP source noted that Oregon was not the only LP that hadn’t made a final decision as of James’ pronouncement.
So what gives?

It would appear that James veered a bit off script during the media call – he was more exact in the subsequent analyst call – and overstated the situation. The $13.5 billion figure is not what already is in hand, but rather is what Blackstone expects (based on conversations, etc.). In a follow-up statement today, Blackstone spokesman Peter Rose said:

“We have held our targeted close on BCP VI as of June 30th. There are a small number of investors, like Oregon, which had expressed a strong interest in the fund before June 30th but had not completed diligence, documentation or other administrative procedures, who will be permitted to invest after that date.”

In related news, there was a report yesterday that the Oregon commitment came with sweetened terms. No specifics were offered, but my understanding is that there was no change to the 65/35 fee split option (it was 50/50 on BCP V). Any sweetener would have to be retroactively applied to earlier LP commitments – via “most favored nations” clauses – so I’m skeptical that anything significant changed.