Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana (TRSL) has become one of the first investors to confirm backing Blackstone’s latest global opportunistic real estate fund.

In July, IPE Real Assets reported that Blackstone was expected to come to the market with Real Estate Partners IX this year, after a board meeting report from the Los Angeles Water & Power Employees’ Retirement Plan revealed that the pension fund was considering investing.

TRSL said in a board meeting report that it had approved a $50m commitment to the fund and that Blackstone was seeking to raise $18bn (€15.8bn) in total.

Blackstone Real Estate Partners VIII, the most recent fund in the series, raised $15.8bn in October 2015.

Blackstone is planning to make between 100 and 200 investments, ranging from $10m to $2bn in size, TRSL said.

The fund will use leverage up to a maximum loan-to-value ratio of 85%.

Partners IX will mostly target assets in the US and Canada with some exposure to Europe and Asia.

TRSL’s commitment to the Partners IX fund is based on the recommendation of its investment consultant, Hamilton Lane.

Hamilton Lane said the $1.6bn of realised investments for Partners VIII had produced a gross internal rate of return of 21.6% and a 1.3x gross multiple.

Blackstone declined a request for comment.