Blackstone Grows Distressed Debt Expertise

New York; March 31, 2005: The Blackstone Group announced today the appointment of Jeremiah E. Keefe and Il J. Lee as Principals in the firm’s recently formed Distressed Debt group. The group, established at the end of last year, is headed by John Dionne, Senior Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer, who has many years of experience in the distressed debt sector.

Mr. Keefe, who has been investing in distressed debt securities since 1995, was previously the Director of European Distressed Research for Deutsche Bank and simultaneously a member of a team of traders where he helped manage the bank’s proprietary distressed debt positions. Prior to that he was a Vice President with MFS Investment Management where he was responsible for the firm’s distressed, defaulted and bankrupt securities. He has served on several creditor committees, including most recently MCI and Stelco Inc.

Mr. Lee, who has been investing in distressed debt securities since 1999, was previously vice president with Harbert Management Corporation, a $3 billion hedge fund, with a focus on distressed debt of companies in or near bankruptcy. Prior to Harbert he was a portfolio manager for Talon Capital, a Chase Manhattan proprietary hedge fund. He too has served on several creditor committees and actively participated in a number of financial restructurings, including most recently General Chemical and Mission Resources.

John Dionne commented, “We are delighted to have two such experienced distressed debt specialists as Il and Jeremiah join us. The twenty-plus years of distressed credit experience that they bring to Blackstone will be invaluable to the long-term success of the group, especially when combined with the existing shared knowledge that resides in Blackstone’s private equity, real estate and corporate debt groups.”

About The Blackstone Group:The Blackstone Group, a private investment and advisory firm with offices in New York, Atlanta, Boston, London, Hamburg, and Paris, was founded in 1985. The firm has raised a total of approximately $32 billion for alternative asset investing since its formation. The Blackstone Group’s six core businesses are Private Equity Investing, Private Real Estate Investing, Corporate Debt Investing, Marketable Alternative Asset Management, Corporate Advisory, and Restructuring and Reorganization Advisory.