Tags: Blackstone | Russia | investments | private-equity firm

Blackstone Said to Halt Russia Deal Search After 3-Year Push

Monday, 22 Sep 2014 05:52 PM

Blackstone Group LP will stop seeking investments in Russia after the private-equity firm failed to strike a deal in the country in a three-year effort, said a person with knowledge of the plan.

Blackstone won’t renew contracts with consultants it employs to find transactions in the country, said the person, who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak publicly. The company, which oversees $279 billion in assets including private-equity, real estate and hedge funds, has yet to make a buyout investment in Russia, the person said.

Blackstone Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stephen Schwarzman said in April that investors should wait to gauge the results of international sanctions against Russia before making investment decisions. The measures by the U.S. and Europe over President Vladimir Putin’s intervention in Ukraine are slowing the economy, which will remain flat or contract for the next two-to-three years, former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said last week.

As part of Blackstone’s plan for investing in Russia, Schwarzman in 2011 joined the international advisory board of the Kremlin-backed Russian Direct Investment Fund, or RDIF. The $10 billion fund was created to stimulate investments in closely held businesses and wean the state off its dependence on commodities. Its investment partnerships have helped draw foreign capital into Russia’s economy, according to its website.

Carlyle, TPG

“We will not comment on membership of the board until we have another meeting,” Maria Uvarova, a spokeswoman for RDIF in Moscow, said in an e-mailed statement.

The Financial Times reported Blackstone’s decision earlier Monday.

Other private-equity firms have also sought investments in Russia, with different outcomes.

Carlyle Group LP, the world’s second-biggest manager of investment alternatives to stocks and bonds, had attempted to set up a team in Russia twice since the late 1990s. It shut its Moscow office in 2005, saying the returns weren’t worth the risks.

TPG Capital, the buyout firm co-founded by David Bonderman, invested about $100 million in VTB Group in 2011 and bought into hypermarket chain Lenta Ltd., which held an initial public offering in February.


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Blackstone Group LP will stop seeking investments in Russia after the private-equity firm failed to strike a deal in the country in a three-year effort, said a person with knowledge of the plan.
Blackstone, Russia, investments, private-equity firm
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2014-52-22
Monday, 22 Sep 2014 05:52 PM
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