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Actionable news in BX: THE BLACKSTONE GROUP L.P,

Is Blackstone Shovel-Ready?

Blackstone Group LP doesn't do anything in half measures.

The New York firm on Saturday said it plans to spend $100 billion on infrastructure, anchored by a $20 billion investment from Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund. It's aiming to raise another $20 billion from other investors, and will finance the rest with debt. The move sent Blackstone's stock more than 7 percent higher on Monday, with number crunchers calculating that the management and performance fees associated with such a gargantuan fund could bolster its shares by as much as $5 apiece over time.

The outsize nature of Blackstone's infrastructure foray puts it in a position to benefit from President Donald Trump's $1 trillion infrastructure plan -- which, like most of his pledges from tax and health-care reform to financial deregulation, is yet to be realized though will likely come together in some form. But for firms like Blackstone, fundraising is only one of the challenges and scale may not necessarily be an advantage.

Blackstone -- best known for its private equity, credit and real estate savvy -- hasn't named any key infrastructure investment executives yet, a move that logically should have come first. Even Apollo Global Management LLC, whose ambitions in the space are far less sizable, recently named former JPMorgan executive Joe Azelby into a newly created role of global head of real assets. And Carlyle Group LP, which itself is targeting a more modest $2.5 billion for a global infrastructure fund, has been building out its team.

As I've written, North American infrastructure investing isn't going to be easy for alternative asset...


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