May 15, 2006

Blackstone Mezzanine Fund II Closes On $1.06 Billion

New York: May 15, 2006: The Blackstone Group today announced the closing of its Mezzanine Partners II LP investment vehicle with available capital of $1.06 billion, bringing the total mezzanine funds under management to $1.6 billion. Blackstone’s first mezzanine fund, Mezzanine Partners LP closed in 1999 at $1.1 billion and has now completed its investment period.

Blackstone Mezzanine Partners II LP will be managed by Blackstone Mezzanine Advisors LP, a unit within Blackstone’s Corporate Debt Group, and headed by Howard Gellis and Salvatore Gentile.

Howard Gellis, Senior Managing Director and head of Blackstone’s Corporate Debt Group, said, “We are excited about this new mezzanine fund and its innovative structure. We believe the increased flexibility it provides will allow us to offer compelling financing choices to our clients while optimizing investor returns.”

The securities offered by Blackstone Mezzanine Partners II LP have not been and will not be registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and will not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from such registration requirements. This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any such securities.

About The Blackstone Group
The Blackstone Group, a private investment and advisory firm with offices in New York, Atlanta, Boston, London, Hamburg, Mumbai, and Paris, was founded in 1985. Blackstone’s Corporate Debt Group is currently investing its second mezzanine fund, which has commitments in excess of $1 billion, and manages seven CDO vehicles with total assets in excess of $4.1 billion. In addition to Corporate Debt Investing, The Blackstone Group’s core businesses are Private Equity Investing, Private Real Estate Investing, Distressed Securities Investing, Marketable Alternative Asset Management, Corporate Advisory, and Restructuring and Reorganization Advisory. www.blackstone.com