Blackstone’s James says capital is difficult to raise

TONY James, president of US private equity business Blackstone Group, said yesterday there isn’t enough capital available from investors to fund all the opportunities he sees in the market.

“In 2005 and 2006, if you put it out well, you could raise as much as you could invest,” James, 59, said at the Bloomberg Dealmakers Summit in New York.

He added: “That’s no longer the case.”

Blackstone, the world’s biggest private-equity firm, has raised $13.5bn (£8.6bn) for its sixth buyout fund, 40 per cent less than it gathered for its previous pool.

In the past year, the company has sold $1bn of debt to fund acquisitions and hire teams to diversify to offset a decline in buyouts. Its largest unit runs fund of hedge funds and credit investing, with $52.4bn of assets.

“The economics are not going to be attractive for a few years,” James said.