Blackstone to restructure $7 billion debt: report

NEW YORK (BestGrowthStock) – Blackstone Group LP (BX.N: ) has reached an agreement to restructure about $7 billion of the remaining debt tied to its 2007 purchase of Sam Zell’s Equity Office Properties Trust, the largest leveraged buyout ever, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

The newspaper, citing people familiar with the matter, said the deal marks the second major restructuring the private equity firm has pulled off this year as the credit markets have thawed, enabling well-capitalized owners to restructure properties that were purchased near the top of the market.

In the other deal, Blackstone reworked the balance sheet of Hilton Worldwide Inc, the firm’s single-largest investment, cutting Hilton’s $20 billion debt load by nearly $4 billion, the Journal noted.

Under the Equity Office deal, which is expected to be finalized by year’s end, the maturity of the debt will be extended to 2014 from 2012, the report said.

In exchange, Blackstone will pay down the $7 billion debt by 10 percent and the interest rate on the remaining debt will increase by one percentage point, the newspaper quoted its sources as saying.

The deal represents the latest chapter in the story of Blackstone’s purchase of Equity Office for $39 billion, including debt and equity.

(Reporting by Steve James; Editing by Richard Chang)

Blackstone to restructure $7 billion debt: report