Blackstone goes to Oz

The alternative asset manager is the latest to open an office in Sydney, having initially planned to do so last year.

The Blackstone Group has opened its first Australian office in Sydney, taking its global footprint to 16 offices worldwide.
The opening sees Blackstone join the ranks of other global private equity firms like The Riverside Company, TPG and Carlyle Group, all of which have already established an Australian presence.
“We are establishing a presence here to integrate the firm into the local business community, seeking opportunities to invest and to raise capital,” Philip Levinson, Sydney-based managing director, said in a conference call. 
Blackstone declined to comment further.
Levinson joined the firm's investor relations and business development group last year to help develop products across the Asia Pacific region. He previously worked for RREEF and La Salle Investment Management.
According to media reports, Blackstone had sought to open a Sydney office last year, but delayed plans while awaiting the Australian tax authority’s decision to tax profits from private equity asset sales in the country. There is still no ruling on the issue.
Australia’s private equity industry has been active in the recent month.
Earlier this week a consortium which reportedly comprised of TPG and Carlyle made a A$1.7 billion (€1.2billion; $1.5 billion) bid to buyout Australian healthcare provider Healthscope and earlier in the month, Cleveland, Ohio-based Riverside acquired a majority stake in Australia’s The Boost Investment Group, owners of Boost Juice Bars and Salsa’s Fresh Mex Grill in a deal that was reported to be worth up to $70 million.