52.80 -0.05 (-0.09%)
After hours: 7:55PM EDT
|Bid||52.75 x 2200|
|Ask||52.90 x 2900|
|Day's Range||52.54 - 53.66|
|52 Week Range||26.88 - 55.17|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.57|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||36.47|
|Earnings Date||Oct 16, 2019 - Oct 21, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||1.92 (3.59%)|
|1y Target Est||52.25|
Stephen Schwarzman shares his life lessons in building Blackstone Group into one of the world's most successful investment firms.
(Bloomberg) -- Centerbridge Partners is nearing a deal to sell indoor water-park operator Great Wolf Resorts Inc. to Blackstone Group Inc., according to people with knowledge of the matter.Any transaction would value Great Wolf at at least $2.9 billion, including debt, said one the people, who requested anonymity because the talks are private. Any deal would likely be led by Blackstone’s real estate investment arm, another person said.No transaction has been finalized and talks between the buyout firms could still fall through, the people said.Representatives for Blackstone and Centerbridge declined to comment.New York-based Centerbridge is considering options including a sale for Great Wolf after receiving unsolicited takeover interest, Bloomberg reported in April.Blackstone is familiar with theme park companies, which are benefiting from higher consumer spending on travel and leisure. The firm nearly tripled its money on a seven-year investment in SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. In June, Blackstone agreed to help buy the owner of Legoland theme parks for about $6.1 billion.Centerbridge bought Great Wolf in 2015 from Apollo Global Management Inc. The Chicago-based company now operates 17 resorts, up from 11 at the time of purchase, with two more in development, according to its website.Blackstone has raised $20.5 billion for its ninth real estate, the New York-based alternative asset manager announced last week. That tops the $15.8 billion raised for its predecessor vehicle.(Updates with details about Blackstone’s real estate investment arm in second and final paragraphs.)To contact the reporters on this story: Gillian Tan in New York at email@example.com;Kiel Porter in Chicago at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alan Goldstein at email@example.com, ;Liana Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org, Matthew Monks, Michael HythaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The next wave of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects will be “tougher” to bring online, as companies with existing facilities take advantage of lower costs to expand capacity in coming years, the chief executive of Blackstone Energy Partners said on Wednesday. Blackstone CEO David Foley said at the Gastech Energy Conference in Houston that only one or two new startup projects may reach a final investment decision (FID) in the next wave of U.S. LNG export projects. “In terms of liquefaction capacity that gets FID from the U.S., the hit rate will be a lot higher on projects either sponsored by major oil companies or expansions of existing facilities,” Foley said.
(Bloomberg) -- Steve Schwarzman said he was puzzled by the high valuation of WeWork, comparing it to a similar company that Blackstone Group Inc. owned that was “worth a few billion dollars.”Hearing about WeWork’s pre-initial public offering value, Schwarzman said: “I sort of went, what? How do you get this? It doesn’t seem right to me given what they’re doing,” adding that he hasn’t studied WeWork. He didn’t name the company Blackstone owned.Schwarzman, whose firm is among the world’s biggest real estate investors, said WeWork’s business model is tied to the health of the economy. The Blackstone co-founder spoke Wednesday at the Economic Club of New York.“There are other issues in terms of short-term leases, and owning them long-term and that’s all fine unless the world collapses,” he said. “Then it’s not so fine.”WeWork pushed back its much-awaited initial public offering on Tuesday as the company sought more time to allay investor doubts over its governance, slashed valuation and business prospects. In January, SoftBank Group Corp. made its last investment in WeWork, at a valuation of $47 billion. The company was more recently expected to be valued at only about $15 billion.A representative for WeWork declined to comment on Schwarzman’s remarks.In a wide-ranging discussion, Schwarzman also tackled negative interest rates, saying they hinder economic growth and punish consumers.“My strong view is I don’t think it makes any sense whatsoever,” Schwarzman said. “Why would I take my money and pay somebody to take it? It’s hard enough to make it. I really just don’t understand the theory behind negative interest rates.”Negative rates make it difficult for financial institutions to make money and that has broad effects, he said.“If banks have trouble earning money because they don’t have a normal interest rate spread then they can’t accumulate capital so they can’t expand,” he said. “So if they can’t expand, they can’t give credit, extend credit to people and to businesses. So those economies won’t grow at any reasonable amount.”To contact the reporter on this story: Sabrina Willmer in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alan Mirabella at firstname.lastname@example.org, Melissa KarshFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. A trade deal between the U.S. and China may not be as “ambitious” as first hoped for, according to Tony James, the executive vice-chairman at Blackstone Group LP.“I’m still an optimist in a sense,” James said in an interview on Bloomberg Television in Sydney on Wednesday. “My optimism has been tempered a little bit in terms of both the timing and the scope of a deal.”While U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are under domestic pressure from business groups to make a deal, “both are dealing with hardline sectors that mean they can’t make too much in the way of concessions,” James said.“I think there’s a middle ground that they’ll reach,” he said. “I think you can see a lot of signs of thawing. I’m optimistic we’ll get something, I just don’t think it will be as ambitious a deal as we once hoped for.”Read more: China’s Trade Talk Deputies Heading for the U.S. This WeekRead more: Schwarzman Sees Trade Dispute Thawing as Growth SlowsRead more: Nobody Benefits From Trade War With No End in SightSeparately, James said he is worried policymakers may not have enough gas left in the tank to fight a recession.“Almost every economy is using monetary tools to the limit of their capability before we’ve got a severe recession,” he said. “It’s not just monetary policy, the fiscal tool has already been heavily used in an expanding economy. So I do worry about how much gas we have left to fight a real recession.”\--With assistance from Paul Allen and Shery Ahn.To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Vercoe in Sydney at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Katrina Nicholas at firstname.lastname@example.org, Edward JohnsonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Angela Merkel once asked Steve Schwarzman to explain private equity.It was 2006, and a debate was raging across Germany after her vice chancellor called such investors “locusts.”“But I’m a good locust,” Schwarzman, the billionaire chairman and co-founder of Blackstone Group, told her.It’s one of the defining lines of his new book, which arrives just as Schwarzman’s critics are growing more vocal in questioning his ties to President Donald Trump, increasing wealth and mega-philanthropy at MIT, Oxford and Yale.Democrat Elizabeth Warren calls private equity firms “vampires” and wants people like him to pay a wealth tax. Blackstone has been blamed for contributing to, and profiting from, the deforestation of the Amazon. Even in as familiar a place as his 50th Yale reunion, classmate Jim Sleeper heckled Schwarzman for displacing people from their homes, a reference to Blackstone’s buying foreclosed properties after the financial crisis.So a book answering critics would be timely. Schwarzman, 72, defends his firm’s work to Merkel in four paragraphs. The chapters on building and expanding Blackstone, which make up more than half the book, can be seen as an extension of his argument.But on other scores he has chosen not to engage. He doesn’t address the resistance some of his philanthropic projects have met. He avoids mentioning the spoils of his success -- the parties he has thrown, the houses, the vacations in the South of France. Not that he promised to dish: The book is called “What It Takes,” not “What I Got.”As for Trump, he may be upset that his name doesn’t appear in the narrative until page 307 of 354. There, Schwarzman describes the call that brought him to Trump Tower in November 2016, and how he has served the president, for example by helping to arrange Xi Jinping’s visit to Mar-a-Lago in April 2017. But Schwarzman leaves out that two months earlier, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and Steven Mnuchin were guests at his 70th birthday party. Nor does he mention that he stood next to the president in Riyadh to announce Saudi Arabia’s investment of as much as $20 billion in Blackstone’s first infrastructure fund.Schwarzman does go in depth on his appointment to lead a White House policy and strategy forum, and its disbanding when Trump’s remarks on the riots in Charlottesville sparked “fury” and put members of the forum “under pressure.”“Even if we were acting with the best, nonpartisan and patriotic intentions, associating with this president was intolerable to many,” writes Schwarzman, whose net worth is $17.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.Apparently, it hasn’t been intolerable to him. As he puts it, “I had learned not only to manage through crises, but also to create them for ourselves and our clients in order to provoke a change in the status quo that creates opportunity.”Explaining TrumpThough he lost his position when the White House forum disbanded, he has continued to serve the country informally. He describes his role in negotiating a revision of Nafta and in trade talks with China. He also fielded calls from people asking for help understanding Trump. Perhaps it was reading Freud while working in the engine room of a ship one summer that gives him the edge.The book is being published by Simon & Schuster, which handled Ray Dalio’s “Principles,” and was written by Philip Delves Broughton with the close oversight of Blackstone’s public relations head and Schwarzman himself going through it line by line. They have produced a self-portrait that casts Schwarzman as pragmatic, not ideological; sensible, not volatile; an entrepreneur through and through -- a risk-taker and a creative thinker; and a man capable of prioritizing family, as when he left Blackstone’s IPO roadshow to go to the hospital where his daughter Zibby had just given birth to twins.The book isn’t about responding to his critics and was in the works for more than 10 years, Schwarzman said in an interview.“What I was trying to do is write things down, so that other people could learn, whether they’re in for-profit or not-for-profit environments, how to do things in a more effective way,” he said. He wants to teach readers “how to grow organizations, and do positive things, and how to help their own careers, how to overall have a more positive society.”The goal, he said, is to transfer knowledge to help people “have an easier run than I had.”25 LessonsHe likes distilling information into advice. Some of his eight tips for interviewing are obvious enough -- “Be on time... Be curious... Avoid discussing divisive political issues unless you are asked” -- but his list of 25 lessons for work and life is a great summary of how he approaches the world. Among his maxims: “Believe in something greater than yourself.” “Never deviate from your sense of right and wrong.” “Make decisions when you are ready, not under pressure.” Given how he describes getting surprised by the rain, he might have added, “Always carry an umbrella.”Thankfully for us, he has a keen sense for the little details that make the book fun to read.He recounts how Merkel raised her hands to imitate a locust and how he did the same. He tells of earning the nickname “Farmer Blackstone” in China, because he promised that the company’s stock price was like a seed that would grow in time. We learn he’s a fan of “Law & Order,” curry for dinner and Tina Turner, whom he met at the Kennedy Center when he was its chairman.There are photos, too -- more than 60 of them -- that show Schwarzman running a 440-yard relay in 1963, in army training in 1970, on the red carpet of the Met Gala, and with Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Jimmy Lee and Trump (twice). Sadly, we don’t get to see him with Bailey, Piper and Domino -- his three Jack Russell terriers mentioned on the book’s jacket.Dry-Goods StoreThe thrills hinge on going into the rooms where Schwarzman did his first deals, made key hires like Larry Fink and Tony James, and got on the phone with Hank Paulson and Dick Fuld around September 2008, trying to save Lehman Brothers and global markets.It all began in Philadelphia where his dad inherited and ran a curtains and linens store, and his mom found ways to advance the family, like sailing lessons and moving them to the suburbs.One of Schwarzman’s first ventures was a lawn-mowing business -- with his younger twin brothers doing the actual mowing. It helped give him the money to buy a pair of Adidas spikes for a less-well-off track teammate. “It was a gesture of friendship, but also more than that: Bobby running in a great pair of spikes made all of us look good.”His attention to appearances and status has provided constant motivation. He figured out how to get into Skull and Bones, and how to meet people like Felix Rohatyn and Averell Harriman. He’s so appreciative of the people that have helped him along the way, his acknowledgments section is a whopping 14 pages.Eye for DesignThe important people he knows hopefully will not distract from the book’s important story for our time: Schwarzman’s journey from a middle-class Jewish boy to the Andrew Carnegie of the second Gilded Age. While the toughness he gained from running track in high school and the values instilled by his parents were formative, true to his later investments in higher education, his ascent really started at Yale.His father told him it was a world he knew nothing about, that his son was on his own. It was not an easy transition. Schwarzman didn’t feel he belonged and was unprepared academically. An English professor offered to teach him how to write papers, a kindness he never forgets.From his own experiences, including a stint in Army training where the food and barracks weren’t quite as nice as Yale, Schwarzman understands that being in the right environment can be critical to success. He has taken this lesson to heart many times, quite literally, with his attention to design.When he became a partner at Lehman, he redecorated his office. “I wanted it to be a cocoon against all the psychological stresses of my work, cozy, like a beautiful sitting room or library in an English house. I had the walls painted partly in reddish-maroon, the rest covered in the kind of grass cloth I’d seen at Lee Eastman’s place. I installed a chocolate carpet, chintz chairs and a partners’ desk from the 1890s. It was exquisite. No one else at the firm had ever done this.”When Blackstone bought Claridge’s in London, he put together a panel of society women to vet English decorators for the storied hotel. They rejected the candidates, but one of the ladies proposed a Frenchman. Schwarzman interviewed and hired Thierry Despont himself.Business CardsHe can obsess over getting everything right. When he learned that the Chinese builders of Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University wanted to use fake wood and fake bricks, he insisted that local craftsmen make the bricks and the floors exactly to Robert A.M. Stern’s specifications.And of course he’s been involved in the design of Blackstone’s offices, logo and, in 1985, when he and Pete Peterson were just getting started, its business card.“The design we chose is the one we still have: simple, black and white, clean and respectable.”Sounds a lot like the book he just gave us. After all, a book is the ultimate calling card.To contact the reporter on this story: Amanda Gordon in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Pierre Paulden at firstname.lastname@example.org, David Scheer, Peter EichenbaumFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
NEW YORK, Sept. 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Blackstone Mortgage Trust, Inc. (BXMT) declared a dividend of $0.62 per share of class A common stock with respect to the third quarter of 2019. Blackstone Mortgage Trust (BXMT) is a real estate finance company that originates senior loans collateralized by commercial real estate in North America, Europe, and Australia. Blackstone (BX) is one of the world's leading investment firms.
(Bloomberg) -- Blackstone Group Inc. is in advanced talks to buy and lease back the iconic Bellagio and MGM Grand Las Vegas casinos from MGM Resorts International, according to people with knowledge of the matter.They have yet to agree on a transaction and one may not be reached, said the people, who requested anonymity because the talks are private. The terms of the potential deal couldn’t be learned.Representatives for Blackstone and MGM Resorts declined to comment.MGM Resorts shares rose as much as 5% before settling up 1.4% to $29.47 at 12:06 p.m. in New York.MGM Resorts has been exploring selling and leasing back the properties individually or bundled together, Bloomberg News reported in July. Property sales free up cash for casino companies to expand while letting them continue to manage their resorts.The Las Vegas-based company in January formed an independent committee to evaluate ways to extract value from its real estate portfolio. Activist investor Starboard Value built a position in the company with plans to push for changes, Bloomberg News reported that month.What Bloomberg Intelligence Says“A Blackstone deal to buy and lease back Bellagio and MGM Grand -- in advanced talks, Bloomberg reports -- could raise $6.5-$7 billion for a $10 billion resort in Osaka, Japan, where MGM will vie for a license.”\--Brian Egger, Gaming analystMGM Resorts expects to share the results of the review in early fall, Chief Executive Officer Jim Murren said in a conference call with analysts in July.The Bellagio and MGM Grand Las Vegas are two of the crown jewels in MGM Resorts’ portfolio of gaming resorts in the U.S. and China. Together, the properties have more than 10,000 rooms and about 315,000 square feet of casino space, according to the company’s most recent annual report.MGM Resorts could receive proceeds of up to $4 billion selling the Bellagio and nearly $3 billion from a sale of MGM Grand, analysts with Bloomberg Intelligence said in July.Blackstone, a New York-based private equity firm, has built up a hefty war chest for real estate transactions. Last week, it said it raised $20.5 billion for its ninth real estate fund, topping the $15.8 billion it raised for its predecessor vehicle.The firm has a history in the gaming sector. It’s holdings include Spain’s Cirsa Gaming Corp., which it acquired last year for about $1.8 billion, and the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, which it acquired in 2014 for $1.7 billion.To contact the reporters on this story: Scott Deveau in New York at email@example.com;Gillian Tan in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org;Christopher Palmeri in Los Angeles at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Liana Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Alan Goldstein at email@example.com, Matthew Monks, Nick TurnerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Blackstone Group Inc. added new properties in Germany and The Netherlands with the purchase of a Canadian real estate trust, in deal valued at C$6.2 billion ($4.7 billion) including debt.The New York-based private equity firm agreed to pay C$16.79 a share in cash for Dream Global Real Estate Investment Trust, according to a statement from the companies Sunday. The offer is 19% higher than Dream Global’s closing price Friday in Toronto. The stock jumped 17% to C$16.57 Monday.Dream Global, which went public in 2011, operates office and industrial properties across Western Europe. The offer values the equity of the company at about C$3.2 billion.“This transaction is an exciting opportunity for Blackstone to expand its existing office and logistics portfolios in some of the largest and most important markets in the region,” said James Seppala, head of Backstone’s real estate in Europe.The deal comes less than a week after Blackstone separately said it raised $20.5 billion for its largest real estate fund ever. The private equity industry’s largest real estate investor held a final close on Blackstone Real Estate Partners IX. The amount gathered is more than the $15.8 billion raised by the 2015 pool.Toronto-Dominion Bank and National Bank of Canada were the financial advisers on the deal, which requires two-thirds support of Toronto-based Dream Global’s shareholders.(Adds share price)\--With assistance from Robert Tuttle.To contact the reporters on this story: David Scanlan in Toronto at firstname.lastname@example.org;Thuy Ong in Sydney at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Scanlan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Katrina NicholasFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Blackstone is 'in advanced talks' to buy and lease back the Bellagio and MGM Grand Las Vegas casinos from MGM Resorts, a report says.
Dream Global's portfolio includes more than 200 properties in more than 100 Western European cities. The deal expands BX's office and logistics operations in the region.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Tuesday, Britain’s Supreme Court will start a pivotal hearing related to Brexit. What it decides could tell us just how aggressive judicial review has gotten, and how far it’s spread from its foundations in the U.S..Over the last 50 years, the American practice of judicial review has made its way around the world. It has become increasingly common for judges in constitutional systems to see themselves as the final decision-makers on constitutional legitimacy.Whether that’s a good thing for democracy — I think it’s not — is a separate question. But the story of how we got here is an illuminating and important one. That story starts more than 200 years ago, to the moment in 1803 when the U.S. Supreme Court formally declared that it had the authority to review an act of Congress and hold it unconstitutional in Marbury v. Madison.Even so, the U.S. Supreme Court did not get into the regular business of overturning statutes until the late 19th century. And it was only in the 1960s that the court came to see judicial review as intended to protect the basic institutions of democracy, and even then it was controversial – because it necessarily required the court to decide which democratic processes were legitimate and which were not.But now, the existence of a supreme court or constitutional court with the power to review legislation has come to be seen by many as a sine qua non of true democracy. The European Union even requires its members to have such a thing.That’s the court that will now decide the fate of last week’s ruling by Scotland’s highest court, which ruled that it was unconstitutional for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to prorogue Parliament (a gambit designed to limit debate over Brexit and thus give Johnson more leverage over his rebellious MPs).But seeing judges as the ultimate arbiters of democratic fairness goes against the long-held traditional thrust of British constitutional thought. That tradition treats Parliament itself as the effective sovereign. In its historical form, British constitutional thought would not have countenanced the idea that an act of the queen on the advice of the prime minister could be somehow deemed unlawful by a court.For real-life British judges to rule otherwise, even in the heat of the Brexit debate, reflects how far the American-born practice of judicial review has reached, even into the once-impregnable bastion of British constitutional law.The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Marbury v. Madison certainly had some antecedents in British legal thought. Scholars have identified possible roots of judicial review in British statutory interpretation, corporate law and colonial charters — all of which sometimes contained mechanisms for declaring a law to be “void” because it was “repugnant” to some higher principle.But crucially, after the U.S. introduced judicial review, the British system did not go the same way. William Blackstone, the great 18th-century British legal commentator, had already stated that Parliament exercised sovereign and uncontrollable authority. By that logic, a court could never overrule a statute or other act of Parliament as unconstitutional. Debates about constitutionality in Britain were ultimately to be determined by Parliament itself.Blackstone’s view was refined and put into its modern form by the influential 19th-century constitutional lawyer A.V. Dicey, who famously wrote that Parliament has “the right to make or unmake any law whatever; and, further, that no person or body is recognised by the law of England as having a right to override or set aside the legislation of Parliament.”The Scottish judges’ recent decision makes fascinating reading. They had to address the fact that a lower court in Scotland (as well as one in England) had already concluded that a court could have nothing to say about the political act of proroguing Parliament.The three judges each delivered separate opinions, although they agreed on the bottom line.One, the president of the court, Lord Carloway, said explicitly that prorogation “was not reviewable on the normal grounds of judicial review.” Yet he said the decision “would nevertheless be unlawful if its purpose was to stymie parliamentary scrutiny of the executive.” How could he know that? Because, he said, allowing Parliament to scrutinize the executive “was a central pillar of the good governance principle enshrined in the constitution.” He did not point to any concrete provision of law, because the British constitution isn’t a single codified document. Instead he said that conclusion “followed from the principles of democracy and the rule of law.” It’s not at all obvious that the principles of democracy allow unelected judges to overturn the actions of elected members of Parliament. That idea requires one to believe that judicial review is an inherent part of democracy. That isn’t the traditional British constitutional value of parliamentary sovereignty.Another judge, Lord Brodie, also thought that under ordinary circumstances, judges lack the authority to consider whether Parliament may be prorogued. But he said that “the particular prorogation that had occurred, as a tactic to frustrate Parliament, could legitimately be established as unlawful” because it was “an egregious case of a clear failure to comply with generally accepted standards of behaviour of public authorities.” The judge’s view seems to be that when the prime minister does something egregious, the power of judicial review kicks in. That’s a surprising doctrine — unless you think the job of the judiciary is to ensure that basic democratic practices are followed.The most radical view was that of the third judge, Lord Drummond Young. He said that “the courts have jurisdiction to decide whether any power, under the [royal] prerogative or otherwise, has been legally exercised.” This statement effectively puts the judiciary above Parliament and even the monarch. It would be hard to imagine a position further from that of Blackstone and Dicey — even though the judge quoted the latter.Even if the UK Supreme Court reverses the Scottish court’s decision, it will stand as proof that globalized ideas of judicial review have made deep inroads into British constitutional thought. Judicial review, built by Americans on British foundations yet long rejected in the mother country, is coming full circle.To contact the author of this story: Noah Feldman at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Sarah Green Carmichael at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Noah Feldman is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a professor of law at Harvard University and was a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter. His books include “The Three Lives of James Madison: Genius, Partisan, President.” For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Blackstone has clinched a deal to buy Canadian real estate investment trust Dream Global valuing the owner of office properties across western Europe at C$6.2bn ($4.7bn). is the largest-ever for a real estate fund, and increases the war chest Blackstone has amassed to invest in property to more than $36bn. Dream Global’s assets include over 200 office space and warehouse properties in more than 100 cities across western Europe, with a large presence in Germany and the Netherlands.
Blackstone will pay C$16.79 cash per Dream Global unit to acquire all of the office and industrial property manager's subsidiaries and assets, the Toronto-listed firm said. "This transaction is an exciting opportunity for Blackstone to expand its existing office and logistics portfolios in some of the largest and most important markets in the region," the head of Blackstone Real Estate Europe, James Seppala, was quoted as saying in the statement. Blackstone's financial advisers are RBC Capital Markets, BNP Paribas, and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc, while Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP are acting as its legal counsel.
The story behind Lisette Cooper’s $5.8 billion advisory business, Athena Capital Advisors, begins in the sterile laboratories at Harvard University, where she studied isotope geochemistry. After Merrill, Cooper built risk-controlled investment strategies for MSCI Barra until 1993, when she launched Lincoln, Mass.–based Athena with a book of institutional business.
Mitsubishi's (MUFG) lending arm, MUFG, plans to introduce an online platform for its clients this month to boost its network outside Asia.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- I used to tell people that I was in the room when the 1980s – the bull-market-greed-is-good ‘80s – began. It was June 1982, and the room was a luxe Waldorf Towers suite leased by Lazard Freres. An investment banker at the firm had loaned the suite to a Texas oilman named T. Boone Pickens Jr., the founder and chief executive of Mesa Petroleum, based in Amarillo, Texas.Boone, who had a big reputation in Texas, and virtually no reputation outside it, was making an audacious play: He was trying to take over Cities Service, a company ten times Mesa’s size. And I was sitting right next to him, watching him try.I had just turned 30, a new staff writer at Texas Monthly. Boone was 54. Profiling him was my first assignment, even though I knew nothing about business. Then again, he didn’t know much about hostile takeovers. One thing I understand now is that he and his team – which included a very young Hamilton James, who went on to become a senior executive at the Blackstone Group Inc. – were improvising, every step of the way.Of course, back then you could count on one hand the people who knew how to do a hostile takeover. It was all new – and corporate America wasn’t happy about it. Men like Boone weren’t called “shareholder activists;” they were called “corporate raiders” or “greenmailers.” There were investment banks (Goldman Sachs was one, as I recall) that refused to advise anyone attempting a hostile takeover. Chief executives wouldn’t dream of trying to buy a company that didn’t want to be bought – if for no other reason than it was impolite. The price of the stock was low on their list of priorities.What I wind up reflecting on now, as I think about Boone, who died on Wednesday at the age of 91, is the role he played in the revolution that has taken place in the way companies think and operate. Michael Jensen, a finance professor at the University of Rochester, is usually given credit for laying the foundation for the modern emphasis on shareholder value. But few people in the executive suites or on Wall Street knew who Jensen was.They knew who Boone was, though. He -- and Carl Icahn, and a small handful of others -- loudly proclaimed that everything they were doing was in the interest of shareholders. It was the rationale for their raids. Boone used to lecture me back then: Joe, he’d say, CEOs don’t own the company. The shareholders do. People used to ask me whether this was just something he said to justify his takeover plays. No, I would reply, he really means it.Boone made five hostile takeovers in the 1980s. He didn’t land any of his targets, but he did become a public figure. When he went after Gulf Oil in 1984, he received the first-ever “highly confident” letter from Michael Milken (meaning that Milken would be able to raise enough in junk bonds to pay for the deal). That same deal also got him on the cover of Time magazine, with an illustration showing him playing high stakes poker. Thus did he help usher in another facet of modern business: the risk-taking, swashbuckling, larger-than-life businessman. It’s not too much to say that Elon Musk is an heir.For the next 20 years – and I can also see this more clearly than I could at the time – Boone struggled. He started a shareholder rights organization, but it didn’t go anywhere. He had a tight-knit group of young whipper-snappers who had worked on his deals, but one by one, they left. He got into petty feuds with various people in Amarillo, including the editor of the newspaper. At one point, he had the idea of selling rights to the water under his ranch to Dallas or San Antonio. He was damned if he was going to sell it to Amarillo.By the mid-1990s, he was in the middle of a horrific divorce and was suffering from depression. Mesa had been borrowing money to pay to shareholders – he wanted to show that he put his money where his mouth was – but the company was going broke. Richard Rainwater and his wife, Darla Moore, made a deal to restructure the company. They did, and then – much to Boone’s surprise -- they tossed him out.What followed was what I think of as the most astonishing part of his career. In 1997, Boone set up shop in Dallas and started an energy hedge fund. He raised $27 million from friends in Texas, and put in another $10 million of his own money. By the end of 1999, the fund had dwindled to $4.4 million.And then? Then, the price of natural gas started to go up, and the value of Boone’s fund soared. It helped immensely that he finally put his divorce behind him, and that he got on antidepressants for a short time. In the office he was sharp again, something he hadn’t been in years. He was also, for the first time in his life, a billionaire.As for me, that story I wrote about him in 1982 changed my life. I became enthralled with business, and it became my beat. When Boone got a big contract to write his autobiography in 1986, he hired me to be his ghostwriter. But I had too much ego to be a good ghost, and he had too much ego to let me write his book. He fired me halfway through the project, and I sued him for the money I felt I was owed. Although we quickly settled, we were estranged for the next decade.One day I got a note from him, about a story I had written for Fortune magazine. He thanked me for something I had written about shareholders. I took it to mean that he wanted to reconnect, so I went to visit him. He told me about his depression, and his divorce, and the therapy he was in with his grown children, with whom he had never had an easy relationship. “Joe,” I remember him saying, “never say no to therapy.”From then on, we were friends. There were things he did that bothered me immensely, especially funding the Swift Boat attacks on John Kerry during the 2004 presidential election. But there were also things he did late in his life that I really admire. His effort to move the country as much as possible away from coal and oil, and towards natural gas, is high on that list. His critics used to complain that he was talking his own book, but so what? He believed in natural gas with all his heart.I went to visit him in Dallas in November 2016, by which time he was 88. He sat in his conference room having his daily meeting with his aides and traders while they analyzed the latest energy trends. Why was Exxon Mobil Corp’s stock rising? Were rising gasoline prices affecting motorists? What were the Saudis going to do? Boone wore hearing aids and sometimes had to lean in to understand what was being said, but he was still very much the decision-maker. “Boone,” said one of his guys, “has balls like nobody I’ve ever known.”A month later, Boone had the first in a series of strokes. He was soon using a walker, and struggling with his speech. The last time I saw him was a year ago, at his ranch. It was difficult to watch him; in addition to his physical problems, you could see that he had things he wanted to say but just couldn’t get the words out.One afternoon, Boone had someone drive him around the part of the property that had wells – yes, Boone drilled for oil and gas on his ranch – and that seemed to perk him up. He employed a full-time geologist, and after we’d visited a few wells, we went into a big room where one wall was papered over with an enormous map of the ranch’s geological formations. The geologist started to explain a few things, but Boone interrupted her. For about ten minutes, he talked without trouble. For me, it was a nice moment.When I first met Boone in 1982, he quickly sized me up as “an East Coast liberal.”“You probably don’t know many conservatives,” he said (correctly). “I’m going to show you that a conservative can be a good guy.”And he did, too. Rest in peace, Boone.To contact the author of this story: Joe Nocera at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Timothy L. O'Brien at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Joe Nocera is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering business. He has written business columns for Esquire, GQ and the New York Times, and is the former editorial director of Fortune. His latest project is the Bloomberg-Wondery podcast "The Shrink Next Door."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The rapid restructuring of the then record buyout deal, which Blackstone had sealed in 2007 even as the first signs of the financial crisis were stirring, helped the US private equity firm skirt disaster and eventually reap a $14bn profit. “It ended up being the largest private equity profit instead of the largest private equity bust,” said Chris Nassetta, Hilton’s chief executive. The division is closing in on Blackstone’s traditional buyout business in size, but has also come under fire for an aggressive push into the home rentals market in the US.