In time with the global transfer to Great Britain of a US real estate provider, Century 21, to capture its mid-housing market, a private equity and real estate giant, Blackstone Group, will also expand internationally to Moscow, Russia to reinvest its “dry powder,” Blackstone Chief Operating Officer Tony James said on Thursday, April 21, 2011.
The company is looking for opportunities around the globe to invest its billion-dollar “dry powder”. It has $16.9 billion of capital available for investment in its private equity fund and $8.6 billion in its real estate funds.
After three years of luring Moscow, the company came up with the decision to establish a beachhead in the area as well as in Istanbul.
For Blackstone, Moscow is a bit inscrutable but they are being open-minded to the opportunities that could be found there. James said that Moscow’s market has capital constrains but if done right, it has the potential to give back interesting returns. He also added that it is important for them to be careful in the country despite that it is benefitting from rising energy prices today.
When asked about also putting up a private equity fund in the city, James had no opinion yet as to whether it would be an attractive investment for the company or not.
The company preferred to expand internationally than to take advantage of leveraged buyout deals in the US because James thinks that the buyouts are pricey and that opportunities there are in a slump.
The company earned $568 million economic net income (51 cents per share) during its first quarter this year, an amount higher than analysts’ average forecast of 42 cents per share.
In addition, the value of its private equity portfolio rose to 4.9 percent and its real estate fund to 8.7 percent during the same period.