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Blackstone to up focus on India

May 19, 2008 09:48 IST

Blackstone Group, a global private equity player, is set to increase its focus on India. After setting the ball rolling on its corporate private equity and recently starting off its real estate opportunity focus, the company during the past week has set up Blackstone Altius Advisors, an event-driven strategy focusing on opportunities in the Asia Pacific region. Event-driven strategies are those where PEs fund merger and acquisitions or bankruptcies scenario.

According to a statement from Blackstone, a global, highly-experienced investment team will be headquartered in Hong Kong, with additional professionals based in Tokyo, Mumbai and New York for the foray.

Estimates indicate that close to $1 billion has already been committed by this player to the Indian market.

The statement from Blackstone further added that its Asia business includes its fund of hedge funds and two close-end mutual funds -- The India Fund and The Asia Tigers Fund.

Blackstone Altius Advisors will be led by Aaron Nieman, who previously was with SAC Capital Management as managing director in the Canvas Capital Management division.

Stephen A Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO and Co-founder of the Blackstone Group, said in a statement: "Aaron has a superb history of developing teams and investing in Asia. He will add greater depth and intellectual capital to Blackstone's wide range of alternative investment businesses, and we are delighted that he has chosen to join us."

Antony Leung, chairman, Blackstone Greater China, added, "As Blackstone continues to aggressively seek opportunities within Asia, Aaron and his team will provide additional investment capability that will bolster our presence in the region."

"Blackstone has a good global alternative investment platform. The synergies that exist within Blackstone's various businesses will provide us with a significant advantage investing in the Asia Pacific markets," said Aaron Nieman, senior managing director and chief investment officer of Altius Advisors.

Raghuvir Badrinath in Chennai/ Bangalore