Blackstone Gets Underwriting License

Feb 4 2013 | 4:02pm ET

The Blackstone Group has joined Apollo Global Management and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts with a toe in investment-banking waters: a securities underwriting license.

The private equity firm has quietly acquired one, the Financial Times reports. Initially, Blackstone's plans for its new business line are modest. But the firm could eventually expand into something more like a full-service investment bank, as KKR has done.

"It is just an arrow in the quiver," a source told the FT. "It is a way to serve clients in corporate restructuring or in the mergers advisory business or in the private equity portfolio. If it proves interesting, Blackstone may grow it over time."

Blackstone's move leaves the Carlyle Group as the only major listed p.e. firm without an underwriting license. Carlyle says it does not intend to apply for one.

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