Blackstone (BX) announced the final closing on just over $2.5 billion for Blackstone Energy Partners ("BEP") its first dedicated energy focused private equity fund. BEP invests in control and control-oriented equity investments within the energy and natural resources sector on a global basis. Blackstone Capital Partners VI, Blackstone's $16 billion diversified global private equity fund invests alongside BEP in energy and natural resources transactions.

David Foley, CEO of the fund and global head of energy and natural resources for Blackstone's Private Equity Group, said: "We are pleased with the warm reception this fund received in an otherwise difficult fund raising environment and appreciate the participation of all the investors who committed to the fund. Our core team of private equity professionals has built a terrific franchise at Blackstone in this sector over the last decade, and our differentiated strategy continues to generate attractive new investment opportunities.”

Since its first closing in August 2011, BEP has already committed more than $965 million in six investments and is actively evaluating a sizeable and diverse backlog of proprietary investment opportunities. Since Blackstone’s first energy investment in 1997, it has through its private equity funds also invested or committed approximately $6.3 billion in 21 energy and natural resource transactions across four continents, generating through the most recent quarter a 37% net IRR, without a single realized loss of capital. Over the comparable period, these investments had internal rates of return that were over 4x that of the S&P Energy Sector Index and over 6x the S&P 500 Index.