Jul 05, 2000

Blackstone Opens London Office

New York, July 5, 2000: The Blackstone Group, the New York based private investment bank, and one of the world’s largest private equity investment firms, has announced that it is opening a London office in St James’. This move comes after several years of active investment in the European markets.

Blackstone has been involved in a wide range of high profile European real estate and private equity transactions in the last few years. Notable real estate transactions include Blackstone’s acquisition of the Savoy Group, the Decartes Tower at La Défence, in Paris, Arundel Great Court in London, and the CGHS Hotel Portfolio. Last month Blackstone was one of two firms that agreed to provide up to $60 million of additional capital to the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange (LIFFE) to accelerate development of its exchange business and to exploit new e-commerce market opportunities. Blackstone has also been involved in many other European corporate and real estate transactions.

Heading up real estate private equity investing in Europe will be John Kukral, co-head of Blackstone’s real estate group. For many years he has focused on international investment opportunities and led Blackstone’s 1998 investment in the Savoy Group. He will be joined by Chad Pike, a Principal in Blackstone’s real estate group since 1995. Communications private equity investing in Europe will be managed by Simon Lonergan, Principal, who has worked on many of Blackstone’s communications investments since he joined the firm in 1996. Simon will report to Mark Gallogly, President and CEO of Blackstone Communications Advisors. Simon will be supported by Walid Kamhawi. Also joining Blackstone in Europe is Michaël Billyard- Leake, a 30-year veteran of European real estate markets. He will be based in Paris.

Through its several different businesses, Blackstone has raised over $13 billion for discretionary investment funds focused on alternative asset classes, including its first mezzanine investment fund, Blackstone Mezzanine Partners, with total commitments in excess of $1.1 billion, which is currently being invested. The firm has also advised on Mergers and Acquisitions, and Restructuring and Reorganization transactions with an aggregate value of approximately $200 billion. As a global investor in communications, Blackstone has invested $2 billion of equity in 28 transactions.

Stephen A. Schwarzman, President and CEO of The Blackstone Group said, “Opening a London office is a natural evolution of our growing presence in Europe and demonstrates our commitment and enthusiasm for the European marketplace. We already have a solid business base across Europe and with our new local presence we look forward to expanding this further.”

Notes to Editors:

The Blackstone Group is a private investment bank with offices in New York and London. It was founded in 1985 by its chairman, Peter G. Peterson, and its President and CEO, Stephen A. Schwarzman. The Blackstone Group is engaged in five business areas including Mergers and Acquisitions Advisory, Restructuring and Reorganization Advisory, Corporate Private Equity Investing, Real Estate Private Equity Investing, Private Mezzanine Investing, and Liquid Alternative Asset Management.

In 1994 Blackstone established a European Advisory Board to provide strategic counsel on a variety of opportunities and transactions. Today the Board includes Rt. Hon. Lord Kenneth Baker, former UK senior cabinet minister and Member of Parliament; Roland Berger, Founder, Roland Berger & Partners, GMbH; Count Ruy Brandolini, Chairman, Exor, S.A.; Sir Ronald Grierson, Former Vice-Chairman, General Electric Company, p.l.c.; Maurice Lévy, Chairman, Publicis/FCB Communication; Ivan Pictet, Managing Partner, Banque Pictet & Cie.; Dr Cuno Pümpin, Professor of Management; and Jacob Wallenberg, Chairman, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken.