Blackstone Group is finding it difficult to raise money for a new leveraged buyout fund, the New York Post said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The private equity firm, which hoped to raise a fund as large as $20 billion, has raised $9 billion at most since fundraising began in early 2008, sources told the paper.

The paper said $7 billion of that had been raised by July 2008.

Reuters was unable to reach Blackstone for comment.

(Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore)