Blackstone to invest ‘a lot more’ in India

Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman stated his firm will be active in the country at an event honoring Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as well as Schwarzman.

Blackstone chairman and chief executive officer Stephen Schwarzman reaffirmed his commitment to investing in India at an event in New York City Tuesday honoring the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

“Our firm is very active in India,” Schwarzman said at the event while accepting his own humanitarian award at the event. “We own 12 companies and have invested over $1.2 billion in their country, with a lot more coming.”

Schwarzman’s remarks came after he was presented with the Appeal of Conscience award by The Appeal of Conscience Foundation. Prime Minister Singh received the 2010 World Statesman award from the foundation.

Stephen Schwarzman

During Schwarzman’s speech, he noted that in the weeks following the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Prime Minister Singh accurately predicted India would grow over five percent in 2009, “A very bold prediction,” Schwarzman said.

Last month, Blackstone invested $300 million in Indian power developer Moser Baer. In July, the firm announced it would invest INR2.75 billion (€47.2million; $59 million) for an estimated 12.5 percent stake in Monnet Power, a power generator and supplier in Chhattisgarh, India. The investment comes from Blackstone’s mega fund, Blackstone Capital Partners V, which closed in 2007 at $21.7 billion.

Blackstone senior managing director Akhil Gupta recently told a press conference the firm is expected to increase its private equity investments in India to up to $3 billion over the next five years, according to various news reports.

The firm's real estate exposure to India is currently limited, however, following its recent agreement to take on the asset management of Bank of America Merrill Lynch's real estate platform, it is in line to inherit a significant exposure to the country.

Blackstone's real estate team in India is led by managing director Tuhin Parikh.