Wednesday, June 13, 2007


FUELED BY CHEAP CREDIT and record-setting fund-raising, the LBO
boom, which has been building since 2004, has exploded in the past 18
months. Private-equity deal volume more than doubled in 2006, and LBOs
accounted for almost 20% of last year's record $3.5 trillion in global
M&A, according to Thomson Financial. Private equity's buying binge,
despite some industry insiders' concerns, continues to roll along this
year. LBOs accounted for more than 17% of the $2.26 trillion in deals
through June 11, 2007 and are on pace to exceed last year's record

Blackstone Group

Assets Under Management: $79 billion

Headquarters: New York

Founded: 1985

Chairman & CEO: Stephen Schwarzman

Blackstone, the world's biggest private-equity firm, has a history of
diverse investments. It led a group in the $17.7 billion leveraged
buyout of Freescale Semiconductor. Last summer, Blackstone and Bain
closed a $6 billion bid for arts-and-crafts retailer Michaels Stores.
In a mammoth property deal, Blackstone beat out Vornado to acquire
Equity Office Properties, the nation's largest office-building owner,
for $23 billion. In late 2005, Blackstone was one of five firms that
bought Danish telecom company TDC for $12 billion and was part of the
group that picked up VNU in May for $9.8 billion. More recently,
Blackstone is part of a group buying Biomet for $11.4 billion, and it
just agreed to pay about $6.4 billion, excluding debt, to buy Alliance
Data Systems. It has closed a global buyout fund with total commitments
of $15.6 billion -- since raised to nearly $20 billion -- securing its
predominance. It filed to go public soon in a $4 billion IPO, but since
China has said it would invest $3 billion in Blackstone, the firm has
expanded its stock-market offer to nearly $8 billion.

• How Blackstone Will Divvy Up Its IPO Riches

Research: Worth Civils