Blackstone Adds to Distressed Debt Group Expertise

New York: February 7, 2006: The Blackstone Group today announced the recent addition of Joseph Russick as a Principal in the Firm’s Distressed Debt hedge fund. The fund was launched in July of last year with an oversubscription for its initial funding target of $500 million and is currently closed to additional capital.

Mr. Russick was previously a vice president at Bennett Restructuring Funds, a billion dollar hedge fund, where he specialized in public and private investments focused on the distressed debt of companies in or near bankruptcy. While at Bennett, he co-led the Magnatrax bank steering committee and served on the boards of Bush Industries and Syratech Corporations. He also chaired and served on various creditor committees.

Prior to Bennett, Mr. Russick was with Credit Suisse First Boston, where he focused on mergers and acquisitions primarily in industrial-related sectors, which also included advisory in distressed situations. He began his career at Air Products and Chemicals where he most recently served in various international development roles.

John Dionne, Senior Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer of Blackstone Distressed Securities Advisors commented; “We are delighted to have Joe on board. His broad expertise across so many aspects of the distressed debt arena will add further depth to our all-senior research team, which averages a decade of experience in distressed debt and credit.”