Investors - JUNE 3, 2013

IMRF commits up to $200 million in Blackstone funds

by Sara Kassabian

The $30 billion Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) has committed approximately $200 million to two real estate funds sponsored by The Blackstone Group.

John Krupa, spokesperson for the pension fund, says the IMRF board of trustees approved the commitments in a meeting May 31. Subject to satisfactory due diligence, up to $100 million each was allocated to Blackstone Real Estate Partners Asia and Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies II (BREDS II). IMRF is an existing investor in Blackstone Real Estate Fund VII, which raised $13.3 billion and closed in 2012.

Blackstone Real Estate Partners Asia launched in January 2013 and has a $3.5 billion fundraising target. The opportunistic fund will invest in Asia, primarily Australia, China, India and Japan.

BREDS II launched in August 2012 and has a fundraising goal of $3 billion. As of April 2013, the fund has raised $1.35 billion. BREDS II focuses on high-yield lending on commercial real estate through new loan originations and purchases of legacy loans and securities, and will invest internationally.

As of April 30, IMRF had 2.8 percent allocated to real estate with a target allocation of 6 percent.

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