Blackstone Comes Up Short

The Blackstone Group has held a first close on approximately $7.1 billion for its new private equity fund, peHUB has learned. This includes around $500 million in commitments from Blackstone executives, inclusive of estimated fees, and comes just before the firm releases its second-quarter results tomorrow morning.

Blackstone’s original plan was to hold an $8 billion first close back in April, but was unable to make either the date or the number. It hopes to raise a total of $20 billion, although one participating LP says he thinks it will be “nearly impossible.”

Blackstone (BX) is not expected to begin investing this money yet, as it still has significant dry powder in its $21.7 billion fifth fund. That vehicle held a series of rolling closes (as will Fund VI), with the final one occurring almost exactly one year ago.

A firm spokesman declined to comment.

Update: Tony James confirmed the first close during a Wednesday morning press call.