July 2, 2012 / 3:43 PM / 5 years ago

Blackstone starts advisory business in Germany

FRANKFURT, July 2 (Reuters) - Buyout firm Blackstone Group LP has expanded its business in Germany with an investment banking advisory office, seeking to tap into a wave of restructuring deals, said John Studzinski, global head of Blackstone Advisory Partners.

"Germany is one of the two or three economies in the world that everybody wants to talk about. We see ourselves being focused on financial institutions in Germany, on the Mittelstand, and on restructuring," Studzinski said, referring to the medium-sized companies typical of the German economy.

Blackstone Advisory Partners will initially have between three and five experienced investment bankers in Germany, Studzinski said, adding that the quality of staff was more important than size of headcount.

"I can have a lot of headcount and have nobody who knows what they are doing," Studzinski said.

As part of the expansion, Blackstone named Jan Weidner as a senior managing director for Germany, Austria and Switzerland,

Weidner has over 25 years of corporate finance advisory experience, having started his career with JP Morgan and BHF-Bank and led Morgan Stanley's M&A department in Germany until 2002.

In the last two years, Blackstone-affiliated funds have invested in Jack Wolfskin, an outdoor sporting goods retailer, Leica Camera AG, a premium camera and sport optics manufacturer, and in developing Germany's largest fully financed offshore wind farm in the North Sea. (Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by David Holmes)

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