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Blackstone closes 7.8 bln-euro European property fund, source says

June 7 Blackstone Group, has closed a 7.8 billion-euro ($8.79 billion) fund that will focus on European commercial real estate, a source familiar with the matter said.

The goal of the fund is to deliver to investors double-digit returns, the person said.

The fund will follow an "opportunistic" strategy, which typically means buying riskier properties that need fixing up or repositioning, the person added.

It will have about 24 billion euros worth of buying power, since the U.S. private equity group often uses as much as 70 percent leverage when it buys property, according to the person.

Earlier Monday, Blackstone offered to buy all shares in Finnish real estate investment company Sponda for about 1.8 billion euros, seeking to expand its real estate business in the Nordic region.

Last week, the company agreed to sell European warehouse firm Logicor to China Investment Corp for 12.25 billion euros, the biggest private equity real estate deal in Europe on record.

Blackstone’s real estate business has about $102 billion in investor capital under management.

($1 = 0.8875 euros) (Reporting by Dasha Afanasieva and Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru, editing by Larry King)

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