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Blackstone Deals Highlights HF/P.E. Blur

If there is any question that the difference between hedge funds and private equity funds is becoming a blur, The Blackstone Group’s recent acquisition of a 4.5% stake in Deutsche Telekom should put it to rest.

If there is any question that the difference between hedge funds and private equity funds is becoming a blur, The Blackstone Group’s recent acquisition of a 4.5% stake in Deutsche Telekom should put it to rest. The Wall Street Journal points out that buying bits and pieces of a company is not what private equity firms usually do, but is consistent with a hedge fund’s approach, making a quick buck on a fast trade. The Blackstone deal, says the Journal, could signal a troublesome trend in the private equity industry, as well as in hedge funds: the paucity of good deals. That means p.e. firms with piles of money and few companies to acquire in their entirety will have to settle for a part, and not necessarily a controlling one. Blackstone gains one seat on the Deutsche Telekom board, giving the p.e. firm hardly any influence. So what does all this blurring mean? The losers in all this, according to the Journal, will be the investors, as competition between the two investment styles are likely to drive down returns.

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