GSO raises $2bn in new energy, European funds

 Performance on existing funds abates in final quarter of 2014.  

GSO Capital Partners has raised $2 billion across new energy, European senior debt and credit alpha funds in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to parent firm Blackstone’s fourth quarter earnings release. The credit division’s assets overall increased to $72.86 billion at the end of the year, compared to $70.15 billion the previous quarter and $65.01 billion at the end of 2013.

Performance for some of GSO’s funds fell in the fourth quarter, taking returns slightly lower for the year. Its mezzanine funds were down 0.3 percent in the quarter, bringing performance to 25.4 percent for the year. These funds were up 15.4 percent in the third quarter and 29.8 percent for the 12 months ending 30 September.

The firm’s rescue lending funds lost 4.5 percent in the fourth quarter, bringing fiscal year 2014 performance to 15.4 percent. They gained 8 percent last quarter and were up 34.4 percent for the 12 months ending on 30 September 2014.

“Certain credit-focused fund performance was impacted by weaker market conditions for lower rated credits in the fourth quarter,” said the statement from Blackstone.

According to SEC filings, GSO registered its GSO E&P Holdings LP fund on 21 January and its GSO Energy Partners-D LP fund on 22 December. The Financial Times also recently reported that the firm is raising two separate energy vehicles to take advantage of the oil market dislocation. One is seeking $500 million and will invest in publicity traded debt of energy companies and the other will target $1 billion and deliver rescue financing directly to energy companies.

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas invested $250 million in the GSO Energy Partners-D fund in December, according to the pension fund’s documents.

The firm also registered its GSO European Senior Debt Fund in September and the GSO Credit Alpha Fund in October. Stephen Schwartzman, Blackstone’s founder and chief executive, said the European strategy is targeting €2 billion overall and should close in the spring.

GSO’s financials also showed that fee revenues were up 16 percent year-on-year, but performance fees were 44 percent lower on the back of challenging market conditions in the fourth quarter.

The firm also launched nine CLOs which raised $5.6 billion in fee-earning AUM during the year, including three in the fourth quarter which produced a total of $1.7 billion in fee-earning assets.