Blackstone raises record $21.7B fund

Private equity titan closes on world's largest private equity fund, despite concerns over industry's future.

By Grace Wong, CNNMoney.com staff writer

LONDON (CNNMoney.com) -- Blackstone Group has raised the largest private equity fund ever, despite a chill in the debt markets that has cast uncertainty over the buyout industry's rapid growth.

Blackstone said Wednesday it raised $21.7 billion for its latest fund, Blackstone Capital Partners V. That surpasses the $20 billion fund Goldman Sachs (Charts, Fortune 500) raised earlier this year.

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Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman cites 'gratifying' vote of confidence from investors.

Shares of Blackstone (Charts) gained about 3 percent in morning trading.

The announcement comes as faltering debt markets have put the brakes on the buyout boom and raised worries over whether take-private deals will dry up further down the road.

"This further vote of confidence from our investors is extremely gratifying. The record-breaking amount of capital at our disposal allows us to continue our leadership role in private equity investing on a global basis," CEO Stephen Schwarzman said in a statement.

Blackstone said two-thirds of the fund's available capital has been committed to deals already announced, including the buyout of Hilton Hotels (Charts, Fortune 500). The fund will be invested across a variety of sectors and regions.

Blackstone has raised about $67 billion since 1987. The company made a spectacular market debut in June, although shares have fallen about 19 percent in the last month. Top of page

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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.