Simpson Thacher seals landmark Blackstone fund

The Blackstone Group has turned to regular adviser Simpson Thacher & Bartlett for the raising of its latest fund, the $21.7bn (£10.67bn) Blackstone Capital Partners V.

The firm’s New York-based corporate partner Michael Wolitzer led the team acting on the fund, which is thought to be the world’s largest private equity vehicle, alongside tax partner John Hart, pensions partner Brian Robbins and a number of associates from each practice area.

Wolitzer, who has raised funds for the buyout group since the early 1990s, said work on this vehicle was interesting because it originally closed last year at around $15.66bn (£7.7bn). It was reopened in early 2007 to keep up with the pace at which cash was being invested.

In common with other Blackstone vehicles, money raised in the fund will be invested across a range of sectors and geographical areas. As a large proportion of the fund was raised last year much of its capital has already been committed to investments. These include Nielsen Company, Alliance Data Systems and Hilton Hotels.

As reported on www.thelawyer.com (4 July), Herbert Smith corporate partner James Milne and real estate partner Simon Price advised Blackstone on the UK aspects of the $26bn (£12.8bn) Hilton Hotels acquisition, while Herbert Smith alliance firm Gleiss Lutz advised Blackstone on German aspects

In the US the private equity house received advice from Simpson Thacher M&A partner Brian Stadler, while Hilton was advised by Sullivan & Cromwell.