American alternative investment firm Blackstone is set to launch a private credit fund aimed at wealthy European investors, reported Bloomberg News citing people familiar with the matter.

The firm secured regulatory approval for the Luxembourg-based fund, which is said to be the first of its kind in the region.

A spokesperson for Blackstone refused to comment on the new fund.

The move is seen as a vital step in enabling access to private credits for individual investors in the region, who were kept out of the market previously.

In the US, Blackstone and a number of other asset managers have found success with these kinds of funds, which provides increased yields in exchange for higher risk. 

Private credit is gathering momentum in the European asset management space as firms infuse billions into direct financing deals and investors seek to gain sizeable returns.

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The new fund is expected to enable Blackstone to expand the reach of its $222bn private wealth business to a set of new European investors.

According to sources, the asset manager intends to run it as a perpetual fund. This will enable investors to deploy and extract their money with more flexibility.

Compared to the fixed-term structure that has traditionally been used for credit vehicles in Europe, the perpetual structure allows managers to maintain a stable capital base for new investments and the potential for more fees in the long run.

Historically, perpetual funds were more popular in the US market.

The US investors have been able to access the private credit market by investing in business development companies (BDCs), that provides direct financing to small, fast-growing firms.

BDCs tend to be run as publicly-traded closed-end funds. There are also an increasing number of non-traded BDCs, including the Blackstone Private Credit Fund.

This February, Blackstone concluded the purchase of a majority stake in India-based ASK Investment Managers.