February 12, 2013 5:59 pm

Blackstone bets on Spanish recovery

Blackstone, the world’s largest private equity fund manager, has signalled it is betting on a recovery in Spain and Portugal with the appointment of a managing director focusing on buyouts in the eurozone crisis-stricken countries.

The US investment group, which manages a $16bn global buyout fund, said Inaki Echave, a former partner at Magnum Capital, a buyout fund on the Iberian peninsular, is joining its private equity unit.


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Mr Echave will join the European buyout team headed by former Goldman Sachs banker Lionel Assant and work alongside Claudio Boada, Blackstone’s chairman for Spain and Portugal.

“Blackstone sees great opportunity in Spain,”Joe Baratta, Blackstone’s global head of private equity, said in a statement. “We have faith that Spain’s leaders are taking actions to put the economy on sounder footing, and we believe in the long-term potential of that economy.”

Blackstone bought Spanish cans maker Mivisa from buyout group CVC in 2011 in a deal valuing the packaging company at $1.3bn, according to its website.

Mr Boada, a former head of Lehman Brothers’ Spanish and Portuguese businesses, joined in June as a senior adviser. His mandate is also to help Blackstone’s real estate team find property assets to buy from Spanish lenders under pressure to increase regulatory capital.

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