No Big Deal: Blackstone Postpones Fund Close

The Blackstone Group (BX) has postponed a first close on its new buyout fund, which originally was scheduled for April 11. The new date is now in late June. PE Insider first broke the news, and I’ve since confirmed it.

Blame here goes to the tortoise-slow deal environment, as Blackstone’s current fund has way more dry powder than the firm had expected to have at this point in 2008. The firm did put more money to work in Q4 2007 than in any other quarter in the firm’s history (thanks largely to Hilton), but it’s been very slow going ever since.

It’s also worth noting that this fundraising drive is expected to mirror past Blackstone efforts – which means no definitive target or final close date. Sure there’s a $20 billion cover price, but the firm’s current fund closed on $22 billion in mid-2007 – after coming to market in 2004 with just a $10 billion target.