Blackstone Group reported that its assets have surpassed US$300 billion, strengthening its leadership position in the alternative investment industry.
In its first-quarter results, the fund manager said its total assets under management have reached US$310 billion, up from US$272 billion in the same period last year, the Financial Times reported.
The US group, famous for its private equity deals, also said economic net income — a measure of its profit — doubled to US$1.6 billion, compared with a year ago, after it sold assets in a buoyant market.
It will now pay a record dividend of 89 US cents a share, giving its founder and chairman Steve Schwarzman a payout of more than US$200 million, the newspaper said.
The solid figures highlight the fact that Blackstone is the largest of a select group of US private equity groups that have accumulated assets since listing on public markets.
Carlyle, Blackstone’s next biggest rival, managed just under US$200 billion in assets at the end of last year.
Blackstone’s so-called “dry powder”, or the money it holds but has not yet invested, rose to a record US$64.5 billion during the quarter.
“Our limited partners entrusted us with US$30 billion of new capital in the quarter and US$77 billion over the last 12 months, shattering our own record for the alternative asset management industry,” Schwarzman was quoted as saying.
Blackstone’s dominance has been driven by its specialization in real estate, a sector in which its profits doubled to US$638 million during the quarter, FT said.
Its real estate assets rose in value by nearly 15 percent to US$93 billion from a year ago.
It secured US$16.5 billion in funds for investment in real estate during the first quarter, a record amount and over half the amount it raised in total.
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