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Blackstone to raise $150bn; Stifel backs women-owned health and wellness companies

Godspeed gets busy with acquisitions.

Happy Friday, Hubsters.

MK here, with today’s Wire. Looks like it’s going to be a huge year for PE fundraising.
Big appetite. “Our customers are constantly in our store, and our shelves are full, which results in Blackstone gaining a huge percentage of repeat business,” said chairman and CEO Steve Schwarzman in a call with investors yesterday. Blackstone announced plans to raise a massive $150 billion in its next fundraising cycle, beginning this quarter with the rollout of a ninth flagship buyout offering. The total fundraising target represents s a 25 percent increase over the prior cycle. In 2021, the firm managed assets of $880 billion, up 42 percent from the previous year. Schwarzman expects Blackstone’s AUM to hit a whopping $1 trillion in 2022.

3 in a row. Godspeed Capital just announced its third acquisition in three weeks, with promises of many more to come. The lower middle-market PE firm, which focuses on cybersecurity for defense and government agencies, recently bought Varen Technologies and Exceptional Software Strategies. Aaron’s been tracking the firm’s portfolio building activities closely and spoke with Godspeed founder Douglas T Lake Jr, who expects to keep on buying: “We want to build out the platform with a view towards investing in our people, technology and infrastructure as well as enhancing our ability to recruit and retain the very best talent and through all that, win more work from our clients, because we can offer them a greater level of support under one umbrella.

Who run the world? Girls. Stifel has made a minority investment in LFE Capital, a growth equity firm focused on backing women-owned and managed health and wellness businesses. Founded in 2001 by Leslie Frécon, LFE provides expansion or buyout capital to high-growth companies with revenues of $2 million to $20 million. The firm invests in products and services that promote healthy living and improve healthcare, with a particular focus on businesses with female ownership or management that also serve female consumers. Before founding LFE, Frécon served as senior vice president, corporate finance, at General Mills.

Deal of the Year: Get your nominations in now for your best exits (either full or majority) that closed in 2021. Awards are given in seven categories: overall deal of the year, large-cap, middle-market, small-cap, international, turnaround and secondaries. Deadline is Friday, Feb. 11. Send to Chris Witkowsky, private equity editor, at cwitkowsky@buyoutsinsider.com. Go here for all the rules and regs!

Weekend reading. Check out our series of Q&As with high-profile PE pros, including Pam Hendrickson, vice-chairman of The Riverside Company; Randy Schwimmer, co-head of senior lending at Churchill Asset Management and founder and publisher of The Lead Left; and David Grain, founder and CEO of Grain Management.

Bon weekend,
MK