Ashurst picks up Blackstone work

Ashurst picks up Blackstone work” />Ashurst has received its first instruction from US private equity giant Blackstone.

The mandate is a coup for the law firm as Blackstone is seen not only as an active player in the UK, but is regarded by lawyers as a premier private equity house.

Ashurst scooped an instruction on the Four Seasons auction, which closed earlier this month. A team led by Ashurst’s head of M&A and private equity Charlie Geffen advised Blackstone on the deal, where it marginally underbid Allianz Capital to buy out the nursing home operator from Alchemy earlier this month.

It is understood that Ashurst became involved through other members of the consortium, which included Legal & General and Merrill Lynch, both of whom the firm has a relationship with.
Blackstone’s key relationship is with US firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

Herbert Smith seemingly has a stranglehold over UK work for Simpson Thacher’s other main private equity client KKR, but Blackstone is being actively targeted by many UK firms.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advises Blackstone on some funds work, but would have had a conflict on Four Seasons because it advised Allianz. Alchemy was represented by Macfarlanes.