This giant is renowned throughout the financial world as a leading institution in the private equity, investment banking, financial services and alternative asset management firm.
Founded in 1985 by Stephen A. Schwarzman and Peter G. Peterson with a seed capital amount of $400,000, the company is presently worth over $3.623 billion. The two founders were originally from the Lehman Brothers’ firm. Its first fund closed with $810 million, which in that period was the largest amount a first fund had ever closed with.
Originally designed to be a mergers and acquisitions firm by its founders, the company has grown into a multi-faceted company with four distinct sections: corporate private equity; investment banking and financial advisory; real estate investment; and marketable alternative asset management.
The firm went public in June 2007, which was unusual for a private equity firm. It is now considered a leader in the private equity field, breaking the traditional moulds that had previously been the staple for the market.
Its corporate private equity portfolio is renowned for being diverse. Its most recognised investments include Madame Tussauds, Luxury Resorts (LXR), the Hilton Hotels Corporation, Legolad, The Weather Channel and The PortAventura Resort. It has also purchased the parent company for Sea World Parks and Busch Garden Parks, Busch Entertainment, and Universal Studio Parks.
The Blackstone Group has finalised some of the largest leveraged buyouts ever recorded, with purchases including Orangina, Michaels, United Biscuits and Hilton Worldwide.
More recently, The Blackstone Group has confirmed a purchase of 20 percent in Italian fashion giant Versace, for a price of €150 million.