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  • Big companies have lost billions buying their own shares
    Associated Press By Bernard Condon, AP Business Writer
    3 hours ago
    
    Companies lose billions buying back their own stock
    .
    View photo
    This combination of file photos shows logos for IBM, Macy's, Chevron and Starwood Hotels and Resorts group's W Hotel Hollywood. Big companies have lost billions buying their own shares. Nearly half the companies in the Standard and Poor’s 500 index paid more for their shares in the past three years than they are worth, according to analysis by The Associated Press. Retailer Macy’s is down $1.4 billion on its purchases, a 24 percent loss. As the price of oil plunged, driller Chevron lost $3.3 billion betting on its stock, a 33 percent loss. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has lost hundreds of millions on buybacks, more than a fifth of what it spent. IBM has the biggest losses from buybacks, down $5.5 billion. (AP Photo)

    NEW YORK (AP) -- If you think your stocks are doing poorly, check out the performance of some of the most sophisticated investors, the ones with more knowledge about what's going on inside businesses than anyone else: Companies that buy their own shares.

    The companies losing money on these bets are down a collective $126 billion over the past three years, a decline of 15 percent.

    Many corporations would have been better off investing that cash in an index fund instead of their own stock. The overall market rose 39 percent over the same period. The companies could also have distributed that cash to shareholders, allowing them to spend what is, in the end, their money.

    And it's not just a few big corporate losers accounting for all the pain. The group includes 229 companies in the Standard and Poor's 500 index, nearly half of the companies in the study prepared by FactSet for The Associated Press.

    When a company shells out money to buy its own shares, Wall Street usually cheers. The move makes the company's profit per share look better, and many think buybacks have played a key role pushing stocks higher in the seven-year bull market.

    But buybacks can also sap companies of cash that they could be using to grow for the future, no matter if the price of those shares rises or falls.

    And the recent losses highlight another criticism: Companies may be good at finding oil or selling bathroom trinkets, but they aren't always smart stock investors. Some corporations bought ever more of their own shares even as prices tripled from financial-crisis lows and several measures showed the market was overvalued.

    "Whenever you see a buyback, the company always says, 'We think our stock is cheap,'" says Nicholas Colas, chief market strategist at brokerage ConvergEx Group.

    They are sometimes so confident that they take out enormous loans just to buy more and more shares. That those shares have now plunged in value is something Colas calls a "great irony" of the bull market.

    Among the companies with the biggest paper losses are struggling ones that bought after their stock fell, only to watch prices drop even more. Macy's, the beleaguered retailer, is down $1.5 billion on its purchases, a 26 percent loss. American Express has lost $4.1 billion, or 34 percent. As the price of oil plunged, driller Chevron racked up $2.8 billion in paper losses, or 28 percent.

    The losses are also piling up in unexpected places, such as at companies that have generated solid earnings through most of the bull market, suggesting that there is danger when stocks of even top performers climb too high. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and Ford Motor have each lost hundreds of millions on their buybacks, more than a fifth each of what they spent.

    Defenders of buybacks say they are a smart use of cash when there are few other uses for it in a shaky global economy that makes it risky to expand. Unlike dividends, they don't leave shareholders with a tax bill. Critics say they divert funds from research and development, training and hiring, and doing the kinds of things that grow the businesses in the long term.

    "The company doing the most buybacks is often not investing enough in its business," says Fortuna Advisor CEO Gregory Milano, a consultant who has written several studies criticizing the purchases. He says most buybacks are "financial engineering" and a waste of money.

    The study looked at 476 companies in the S&P 500 index, leaving out the in

  • Reply to

    what a disaster

    by longtermholds Feb 8, 2016 2:17 PM
    sam_0534 sam_0534 Feb 8, 2016 3:06 PM Flag

    MS KKR..all getting hit

  • sam_0534 by sam_0534 Feb 8, 2016 12:21 PM Flag

    Why Brixmor Property Group Inc. Stock Plummeted Today
    Three top officers step down immediately as the company's audit committee finds problems in its financial reporting.

    Longview
    What: Shares of Brixmor Property Group (NYSE:BRX) are plummeting, down nearly 20% at 11:30 a.m. ET.

    Three top insiders -- its chief executive officer, chief financial officer, and chief accounting officer -- stepped down as the company revealed its financial statements had been manipulated.

    So what: Brixmor's audit committee engaged outside counsel and an independent forensic accounting firm to review the company's historical financial results. It concluded that personnel were directly involved or supervised others who were "involved in smoothing income items between reporting periods."

    Brixmor was taken public in 2013 by Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX), which remains its largest shareholder. All three executives who stepped down today have served in their respective roles since Brixmor's IPO. Blackstone held nearly 122 million shares as of September 30, 2015.

    Now what: Brixmor does not expect that it will need to restate its financial results as the impact of the accounting issues were immaterial to its performance. Furthermore, it believes that it will not "impact the Company's compliance with the financial covenants in its debt agreements."

    Wall Street, however, is perfectly content to sell now and ask questions later. When a company's accounting comes into question, many investors prefer to simply walk away. That's exactly what's happening today, as shares are plunging on higher volume.

  • sam_0534 by sam_0534 Feb 8, 2016 10:07 AM Flag

    (Reuters) - Shopping center operator Brixmor Property Group Inc said three of its top officers, including its chief executive, had resigned after an internal accounting review showed discrepancies in the company's financial statements.

    The company said on Monday that its quarterly statements had been tampered with to show consistent growth in same-property net operating income.

    "The board is disappointed to have learned of the conduct and lack of appropriate management supervision uncovered as a result of the Audit Committee review," Chairman John Schreiber said in a statement.

    Brixmor said it would not have to restate its historical financial statements as the impact of the discrepancies was not material to the results. The matter will not hurt the company's compliance with the covenants of its debt agreements, it said.

    Brixmor was taken public in 2013 by Blackstone Group LP. The private equity firm currently holds a 36.24 percent stake in the company and is its largest shareholder, according to Reuters data.

  • sam_0534 by sam_0534 Feb 7, 2016 11:42 AM Flag

    The Blackstone Group LP logo hangs in the company's offices in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, June 4, 2013. Blackstone Group LP, the second-biggest U.S. office landlord, has said it expects strong interest from sovereign-wealth funds for properties it plans to sell starting this year. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg©Bloomberg
    The world’s largest private equity companies are coming under increasing pressure to buy back their own listed shares after the downturn in the both credit and stock markets have hit the value of their portfolios.
    A sharp drop in profits, including the unrealised value of investments, at Blackstone and Apollo in the fourth quarter has cast buyout groups in an unforgiving light, with Carlyle, KKR and Oaktree still to announce earnings this week.
    Since peaking in early 2014, shares in Apollo and Carlyle have fallen by two-thirds, while KKR’s stock has halved and Oaktree’s has declined 30 per cent. Blackstone — the largest group by assets, with $336bn — has dropped nearly 40 per cent since hitting a record $42.92 a share last May.
    The fall in their stock has left executives venting frustration that share-sellers are not recognising that the market drop will leave rich pickings for buyout funds to pluck in the long term, supporting their earnings.
    PE-charts-(600px)
    In an investor call last week, Blackstone chairman Stephen Schwarzman said conservative assumptions on asset growth and the fees investors pay its funds to do deals over the next decade implied a share price of at least $100.
    More
    ON THIS TOPIC
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    Blackstone profits hit by market turmoil
    Lex American Apparel — Frayed bonds
    Buyout firms lose leverage with backers
    IN FINANCIAL SERVICES
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    “It doesn’t seem like a tough decision to me but it apparently is to many of you, so I’m in the minority,” Mr Schwarzman said. “If an investor can do better than four to five times their money in 10 years, then they ought to go ahead and find something to do it with.”
    Leon Black, chairman of Apollo, who called his own company’s valuation “an absurdity”, last week went beyond trying to reason with numbers. For the first time since listing in 2011, Apollo said it would buy back up to $250m of its shares, including future equity grants to employees.
    Though buybacks have become a normal practice for other listed companies, buyout executives have usually preferred to focus capital on their own deals.
    However, the share price falls of the five buyout groups mean that investors are effectively entirely discounting their future performance fees, or the share of profit the groups take alongside investors in their funds when they exit successful deals, underlining extreme scepticism about the companies’ value.
    Performance fees are a big source of earnings, nearly all of which is paid out by these companies in dividends. Because the fees depend on exits, investors find them harder to predict than steadier, but less lucrative, income from managing fund assets.
    The buyout industry has reaped record amounts of cash from selling or listing investments as the equity and credit markets surged in recent years. It returned $475bn to investors in funds in 2014 and $189bn in the six months to June last year, according to the data provider Preqin.
    Shareholders fear the boom has largely ended alongside the hangover in the stock market, with investments being made now years away from generating fees, and possibly facing a tougher environment for financing acquisitions in the debt markets.
    Leon Black’s Apollo launches $250m share buyback
    Leon Black, chairman and chief executive officer of Apollo Global Management LLC, speaks at the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., on Monday, April 27, 2015. The conference brings together hundreds of chief executive officers, senior government officials and leading figures in the global capital markets for discussions on social, political and economic challenges. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Leon Black
    Turbulent markets cut valuation of private equity group’s portfolio
    Management fees dominate the income of traditional asset managers, such as BlackRock, whose earnings are generally valued more than their private equity cousins.
    “There is very little investor interest in owning the alternative managers, despite the compressed multiples and high dividend yields,” Kenneth Hill, an analyst at Barclays, said in response to Blackstone’s results.
    Blackstone has so far decided against buying back its stock, unlike Apollo, or KKR, which changed its payout policy last year to permit repurchases, arguing that it could better use the capital in deals.
    It has more technical reasons to eschew a buyback using cash on its balance sheet, which it reserves for acquisitions — such as that of the credit manager GSO, which it closed in 2008 — and to maintain a buffer when the sales of assets might slow.
    That means Blackstone may simply have to wait for investors to believe Mr Schwarzman’s message.
    Mr Hill added: “We still see Blackstone as the best positioned of the ‘alts’, with a highly diversified asset base and industry leading teams in each of their segments, but we struggle identifying a catalyst other than a materially more promising macro environment.” Less
    Sentiment: Buy

    Sentiment: Buy

  • High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d48d0394-cc1b-11e5-a8ef-ea66e967dd44.html#ixzz3zV7RCb7J

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    February 7, 2016 1:14 pm
    Private equity groups under pressure to buy own stock
    Joseph Cotterill and Mary Childs

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    The Blackstone Group LP logo hangs in the company's offices in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, June 4, 2013. Blackstone Group LP, the second-biggest U.S. office landlord, has said it expects strong interest from sovereign-wealth funds for properties it plans to sell starting this year. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg©Bloomberg
    The world’s largest private equity companies are coming under increasing pressure to buy back their own listed shares after the downturn in the both credit and stock markets have hit the value of their portfolios.
    A sharp drop in profits, including the unrealised value of investments, at Blackstone and Apollo in the fourth quarter has cast buyout groups in an unforgiving light, with Carlyle, KKR and Oaktree still to announce earnings this week.
    Since peaking in early 2014, shares in Apollo and Carlyle have fallen by two-thirds, while KKR’s stock has halved and Oaktree’s has declined 30 per cent. Blackstone — the largest group by assets, with $336bn — has dropped nearly 40 per cent since hitting a record $42.92 a share last May.
    The fall in their stock has left executives venting frustration that share-sellers are not recognising that the market drop will leave rich pickings for buyout funds to pluck in the long term, supporting their earnings.
    PE-charts-(600px)
    In an investor call last week, Blackstone chairman Stephen Schwarzman said conservative assumptions on asset growth and the fees investors pay its funds to do deals over the next decade implied a share price of at least $100.
    More
    ON THIS TOPIC
    EM Squared African private equity investment slides
    Blackstone profits hit by market turmoil
    Lex American Apparel — Frayed bonds
    Buyout firms lose leverage with backers
    IN FINANCIAL SERVICES
    US banks urged to split CEO-chairman role
    Prosecutors push for Sarao extradition
    Nagging doubts about Dimon’s gift horse
    CMC Markets shares fall below IPO price
    Sign up now

    firstFT
    FirstFT is our new essential daily email briefing of the best stories from across the web
    “It doesn’t seem like a tough decision to me but it apparently is to many of you, so I’m in the minority,” Mr Schwarzman said. “If an investor can do better than four to five times their money in 10 years, then they ought to go ahead and find something to do it with.”
    Leon Black, chairman of Apollo, who called his own company’s valuation “an absurdity”, last week went beyond trying to reason with numbers. For the first time since listing in 2011, Apollo said it would buy back up to $250m of its shares, including future equity grants to employees.
    Though buybacks have become a normal practice for other listed companies, buyout executives have usually preferred to focus capital on their own deals.
    However, the share price falls of the five buyout groups mean that investors are effectively entirely discounting their future performance fees, or the share of profit the groups take alongside investors in their funds when they exit successful deals, underlining extreme scepticism about the companies’ value.
    Performance fees are a big source of earnings, nearly all of which is paid out by these companies in dividends. Because the fees depend on exits, investors find them harder to predict than steadier, but less lucrative, income from managing fund assets.
    The buyout industry has reaped record amounts of cash from selling or listing investments as the equity and credit markets surged in recent years. It returned $475bn to investors in funds in 2014 and $189bn in the six months to June last year, according to the data provider Preqin.
    Shareholders fear the boom has largely ended alongside the hangover in the stock market, with investments being made now years away from generating fees, and possibly facing a tougher environment for financing acquisitions in the debt markets.
    Leon Black’s Apollo launches $250m share buyback
    Leon Black, chairman and chief executive officer of Apollo Global Management LLC, speaks at the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., on Monday, April 27, 2015. The conference brings together hundreds of chief executive officers, senior government officials and leading figures in the global capital markets for discussions on social, political and economic challenges. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Leon Black
    Turbulent markets cut valuation of private equity group’s portfolio
    Management fees dominate the income of traditional asset managers, such as BlackRock, whose earnings are generally valued more than their private equity cousins.
    “There is very little investor interest in owning the alternative managers, despite the compressed multiples and high dividend yields,” Kenneth Hill, an analyst at Barclays, said in response to Blackstone’s results.
    Blackstone has so far decided against buying back its stock, unlike Apollo, or KKR, which changed its payout policy last year to permit repurchases, arguing that it could better use the capital in deals.
    It has more technical reasons to eschew a buyback using cash on its balance sheet, which it reserves for acquisitions — such as that of the credit manager GSO, which it closed in 2008 — and to maintain a buffer when the sales of assets might slow.
    That means Blackstone may simply have to wait for investors to believe Mr Schwarzman’s message.
    Mr Hill added: “We still see Blackstone as the best positioned of the ‘alts’, with a highly diversified asset base and industry leading teams in each of their segments, but we struggle identifying a catalyst other than a materially more promising macro environment.”

    Sentiment: Buy

  • Operating Performance: Blackstone’s Valuations Rose
    Market Realist By Robert Karr
    48 minutes ago
    
    Blackstone Missed Estimates, Deployed Record Capital in 4Q15

    (Continued from Prior Part)

    Expanding operations
    Blackstone (BX) reported economic income of $436 million for 4Q15. The company’s earnings improved from the quarterly loss in 3Q15. However, the strength was missing like it witnessed in the first quarter. The company’s distributable earnings were $878 million, or $0.72 per unit, in 4Q15—down 23% from the same period last year. The realized performance fees stood at $708 billion in 4Q15.

    Valuations
    Blackstone declared a fourth quarter distribution of $0.61 per common unit payable on February 16, 2016. The company made total distributions of $2.73 per common unit in 2015—up by 29% compared to the previous year. The stock fell by 33% over the past six months due to the expected fall in portfolio holdings. However, the company had its best performing quarter in 1Q15.

    The company is valued at 9.9x on a one-year forward earnings basis—compared to its peers trading at 7.9x. The premium widened marginally over the last quarter due to the company’s perceived outperformance compared to its peers in alternative investment management.

    Blackstone has a dividend yield of 8.5%—compared to its peers with the following dividend yields.

    The Carlyle Group (CG) – 15.7%
    KKR & Co. (KKR) – 9.5%
    Apollo Global Management (APO) – 12.7%
    Focus on performance and innovative offerings
    Blackstone’s focus on the performance of its portfolio companies and constant innovative offerings to its network of limited partners could be important factors in the company’s future performance.

    Diversification through offerings like hedge funds, credit, and advisory could decrease Blackstone investors’ general risk perception. The debt markets should generate returns of 4%–5%. If the equity’s attractiveness rises, the overall perception of alternative asset managers should also rise, especially for the bigger players that are part of the iShares Dow Jones US Financial ETF (IYF). Blackstone saw the bottom in terms of value for its portfolio holdings. The company could benefit from record dry powder, improvement in European equity and debt markets, and domestic equity markets.

  • It pays %10 and I just added 400 shares at 24.60...now have 2,000.. wont buy anymore...I own 2,5000 BX and will keep long term.. BXMT bought alot from GE..

    Sentiment: Buy

  • As Ackman writes:

    As index fund ownership grows as a percentage of shares outstanding, the voting power of index fund managers increases. While on the one hand, one might believe this is good for America as these "permanent" owners should think very long term compared with the many investors whose average holding period is less than one year.

    On the other hand, there are significant drawbacks... While index fund managers are, of course, fiduciaries for their investors, the job of overseeing the governance of the tens of thousands of companies for which they are major shareholders is an incredibly burdensome and almost impossible job. Imagine having to read 20,000 proxy statements which arrive in February and March and having to vote them by May when you have not likely read the annual report, spent little time, if any, with the management or board members, and haven't been schooled in the industries which comprise the index...

    Of course, this is impossible. Index managers are passive and will generally toe the line for management. Ackman points out some very significant long-term effects of this, asking the proverbial question of what happens when index funds effectively control corporate America:

    If the index fund trend continues, and it looks likely to do so, what happens when index funds control Corporate America? Courts have often deemed shareholders to be in control of a corporation with as little as 20% of the ownership of a company. At current rates of asset inflows, it will not be long before index funds effectively control Corporate America and the corporations of many foreign countries.

    The Japanese system of cross corporate ownership, the keiretsu, has been blamed for decades of Japanese corporate underperformance and economic malaise. Large passive ownership of Corporate America by index funds risks a similar outcome without the counterbalancing force of large active investors...

    The thought of corporate America turning Japanese should be enough to make even the biggest proponent of indexing pause for a moment.

    Ackman says that the "greatest threat to index fund asset accumulation is deteriorating absolute returns and underperformance versus actively managed funds" because money flows into these funds with no consideration of value. I agree, and would add that this was the major rationale for the "smart beta" movement.

    But perhaps the greatest takeaway here is simply to not give up on active management. When you invest outside of the mainstream, you will have returns that are outside of the mainstream. That means that there will be plenty of years when you underperform .

    But if you're a good investor, it also means that there will be years where you massive outperform. So keep your chin up. Even hedge fund masters of the universe lose money some years.

    This article first appeared on GuruFocus

  • Reply to

    Yahoo not posting messages???

    by sam_0534 Feb 5, 2016 11:35 AM
    sam_0534 sam_0534 Feb 5, 2016 11:35 AM Flag

    BX owns 15% of ZBH or 30 million shares

  • 06:44 AM EST, 02/05/2016 (MT Newswires) -- Zimmer Biomet(ZBH) , a musculoskeletal product manufacturer, has priced a secondary offering of more than 11 million shares at $96.45 per share.

    The selling stockholders are affiliates of Blackstone Group(BX) and Goldman Sachs(GS) and will receive all proceeds. The offering is expected to close February 10.

    Zimmer said it plans to purchase $250 million of the shares being sold by the selling stockholders. The company will pay a price equal to the weighted average per share purchase price payable by the underwriter to the selling stockholders. Zimmer's purchase will be subject to the closing of the offering,

    Shares of ZBH are at $97.55 within a 52-week range of $88.77 - $121.84.

    Sentiment: Buy

  • sam_0534 by sam_0534 Feb 5, 2016 10:09 AM Flag

    Analyst recommendations
    Of the 47 analysts covering Alibaba (BABA), 42 have given it a “buy” recommendation, none has recommended “sell,” and five have given it a “hold.” The analyst stock price target for the company is $93.50, with a median target estimate of $91.50. Alibaba (BABA) is trading at a discount of 26.7% with respect to its median target.

    Sentiment: Buy

  • Reply to

    Div

    by diannanyhus Feb 4, 2016 8:03 PM
    sam_0534 sam_0534 Feb 5, 2016 1:49 AM Flag

    no

  • Private equity firms such as Blackstone Group LP and KKR & Co. are good investments for both stock buyers and pension funds seeking higher returns, according to Thomas Barrack Jr., founder and chairman of Colony Capital Inc.

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    [$$] Blackstone Gains From Banks’ Financial-Crisis Pain The Wall Street Journal
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    “Those alternative assets are a buy,” Barrack said Thursday during an interview at the Tiger 21 Conference for high-net-worth investors in Beverly Hills, California. “The market is mistaken in this frothy market that perhaps the fund business is going to suffer. In fact, it’s the opposite.”

    More from Bloomberg.com: Oil Prices Could Jump 50% by the End of 2016

    KKR is down almost 50 percent, Blackstone is off almost 40 percent and Apollo Global Management LLC, a private equity firm headed by Leon Black, has fallen more than 60 percent from their all-time highs. Colony Capital has fallen more than 35 percent since its high last year, before Barrack merged his private equity firm with Colony Finance, a real estate investment trust.

    Investors are nervous about private equity firms, in part, because they don’t understand the holdings, Barrack said.

    “The market is so nervous about what’s in the box,” he said.

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    Over time, he said, private equity investments outperform stocks. Their advantage is established records of sourcing deals, along with managers who have histories of turning around companies, fixing real estate and understanding credit as traditional banks limit lending, according to Barrack.

    More from Bloomberg.com: Goldman Sachs Says It May Be Forced to Fundamentally Question How Capitalism Is Working

    “It’s a better time for curated credit,” he said.

  • 0.61

  • One industry that I think is going to see huge earnings growth for the next several decades is private equity and alternative investing in general. A slow-growth economy creatures tremendous opportunities for them to acquire assets at bargain prices, cut excess spending, create operational efficiencies and resell to the always-hungry public equity markets at a huge profit five years later. They can buy a core company and then do a series of complementary add-on deals to create a larger, more efficient, more profitable enterprise that can then be sold at several times the cost of the parts. The de-risking of banks creates enormous opportunities in credit markets for buyouts, real estate projects and new venture financing. They are going to be one of the few available sources of funds for infrastructure upgrades and they will end up owning a significant percentage of critical infrastructure projects around the world.

    Private equity companies have seen some pretty steep price declines in the past year. The great unload cycle is just about done as they have resold assets they purchased five to six years ago when prices were depressed. Thanks to richly valued public markets, it has been difficult to put capital to work. The capital they have put to work, particularly in the currently depressed energy sector, has fallen further, causing them to take negative marks. This is all going to change as the private equity firms and alternative asset managers will be able to get money to work on very advantageous terms.

    The big four private equity firms -- Apollo (APO), Blackstone (BX), Carlyle (CG) and KKR (KKR) -- are all down big in the past year. Blackstone is the best performer with the stock down just 24%, while the other three are all down more than 40%. They all have generous payout policies and high current yields. If you are willing to take a five- to seven-year private equity mindset, then owning the big four PE firms could lead to very attractive returns for aggressive, patient investors.

    Sentiment: Buy

  • Bids due Feb. 5 -sources

    * Meerwind to fetch about 1.6 bln euros -sources

    * Bidders to include Macquarie, Allianz, MEAG -sources (Adds details of wind park, wind power investment industry)

    By Arno Schuetze, Christoph Steitz and Freya Berry

    FRANKFURT/LONDON, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Infrastructure funds are among the bidders preparing offers for Blackstone's Meerwind Sued/Ost German offshore wind park, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

    The bids, which are due on Friday, are expected to value the group at about 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion), they added, reflecting a recent spike in interest wind parks.

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    Bids readied for Blackstone German wind park -sources Reuters 1 hr 26 mins ago
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    Australian investment group Macquarie, which has emerged as ambitious player in the European offshore wind industry, is among those the sources said were expected to submit offers.

    Other infrastructure funds such as Borealis - part of pension fund OMERS - as well as insurers like Allianz and MEAG, the investment arm of German reinsurer Munich Re are also likely to bid, the sources said.

    Offers are also likely to come from sovereign wealth funds including Chinese investors, which have grown more aggressive in snapping up assets in Germany, they added.

    The 288 megawatt wind park, located 23 kilometres north of the German island of Heligoland, was completed in 2014 and provides electricity for up to 360,000 households.

    It is owned by WindMW, in which Blackstone owns an 80 percent stake, with the remaining stake held by German wind project developer Windland Energieerzeugungs GmbH.

    Windland, Blackstone, their advisers and the potential bidders declined comment or were not immediately available.

    Europe's offshore wind industry has been boosted by a flurry of deals, as risk-averse investors are looking for regulated energy infrastructure with guaranteed returns, including wind parks.

    Jefferies, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and PJT are advising on the sale of the assets, two of the people said.

  • Gecina SA jumped the most since July 2014 in Paris trading after Ivanhoe Cambridge bought shares from affiliates of Blackstone Group LP to become the French office landlord’s biggest shareholder.
    Gecina climbed as much as 4.5 percent and was up 4.1 percent at 112.75 euros as of 10:30 a.m. Ivanhoe Cambridge will own about 23 percent of the company after the transaction, it said in a statement on Friday. The Canadian real estate investor had held about 14.5 million Gecina shares in a venture with Blackstone before the deal was announced.
    “As Gecina’s principal shareholder, we are continuing our participation in the development of one of France’s finest property companies,” Meka Brunel, executive vice president for Europe at Ivanhoe Cambridge, said in the statement.

  • sam_0534 by sam_0534 Feb 1, 2016 4:15 PM Flag

    BX 27.49 +1.22 (+4.64%)
    QUOTES AS OF 03:48:28 PM ET 02/01/2016
    03:37 PM EST, 02/01/2016 (MT Newswires) -- The Blackstone Group L.P(BX) is up nearly 5% after Dow Jones reported the company is seeking buyers for information technology outsourcing firm Pactera, one of its biggest China-based assets.

    The story says Blackstone could get up to $1 billion for Pactera.

    Price: 27.52, Change: +1.25, Percent Change: +4.76

UNH
113.58+2.42(+2.18%)1:44 PMEST