Blackstone to make its first investment in China

(Bloomberg News)
Updated: 2007-09-10 16:28

Blackstone Group, manager of the world's biggest buyout fund, will purchase about 18 percent of the specialty chemical maker China National BlueStar Group for $500 million, two people with direct knowledge of the plan said.

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BlueStar's parent China National Chemical is to sign the deal with Blackstone, which is based in New York, on Monday, said the people, who declined to be identified before an announcement.

BlueStar's chemicals are used in electronics, cellular-phone keypads and car parts.

Blackstone is making its first investment in China, nine months after hiring the former Hong Kong financial secretary, Antony Leung, to help narrow the gap with Carlyle Group and Warburg Pincus in the country. Leung helped the firm broker two deals in China, including the sale of a 9.4 percent stake in itself to the government and a $3 billion purchase of Barclays shares by China Development Bank.

"The company is a rising star in China," said Shi Xuesong, an analyst at China International Capital in Shanghai.

Blackstone has an option to increase its stake in BlueStar to 20 percent should the company meet profit targets next year, the people said. China National Chemical would remain the biggest shareholder.

John Ford, a spokesman for Blackstone in New York, and Xi Yuxin, a spokeswoman at China BlueStar in Beijing, declined to comment.

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