Blackstone completes $600m China deal

The global alternatives manager has closed its first large Chinese acquisition more than a year after agreeing to invest in the state-owned chemicals company Bluestar.

The Blackstone Group has completed its acquisition of a 20 percent stake in state-backed China National Bluestar, a chemicals company, more than a year after the deal was announced. The firm invested $600 million (€441 million) to acquire the stake.

Blackstone had agreed to buy a 20 percent stake in Bluestar last September. Later that year, Blackstone, ChemChina and US buyout firm Fox Paine Management launched a reported A$3 billion bid for Nufarm, an Australian crop chemicals company. However, the consortium ended talks, saying that it would not be able to formalise a proposal before the expiry of the exclusivity period.

Senior managing directors of Blackstone Anthony Leung and Bill Jenkins are joining the board of Bluestar, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of China National Chemical Corporation. The company has 25 manufacturing plants and four research institutes in China, and 15 manufacturing plants and seven research and technology service institutes overseas.
Prior to its initial public offering last year, Blackstone sold a 10 percent stake in its management company to the China Investment Corporation, a Chinese sovereign fund, for $3 billion.

The firm opened its first office in Beijing, its fourth in the region, in August, and recently hired 12 employees to create its first M&A advisory unit in Asia. The new unit will primarily be based in Hong Kong, but will also maintain a presence in Beijing.