Q: Vik, since the beginning of this year, Blackstone has executed multiple refinancings on companies owned by the funds that it manages for investors. Why now and why is this a good thing?
A: I will answer the second question first. Blackstone takes a very active role in counseling the companies owned in its funds on behalf of its investors. We are not passive investors. So this means that we apply our expertise in several ways to make companies stronger, and this includes debt structures. We are in the markets frequently, which gives us an excellent pulse on what is happening day to day. When there are opportunities to strengthen the companies’ balance sheets and to create more value, we want to seize those. And quickly! A reduction in the cost of borrowings or in total borrowings is a good thing for our investors and their returns. (more...)