Blackstone takes controlling stake in 2 Maldives air operators

NEW YORK Sun Feb 3, 2013 11:32am EST

NEW YORK Feb 3 (Reuters) - Blackstone Group LP, the big U.S.-based asset manager, said on Sunday that one of its funds had acquired a controlling stake in two seaplane operators based in Maldives.

No price or terms were given in the private equity fund's deal for the two operators, Maldivian Air Taxi and Trans Maldivian Airways, which together have 44 planes doing more than 100,000 flights annually, Blackstone said.

The two air operations employ some 900, and the chairman of Maldivian Air Taxi said the deal will benefit the employees and tourists in the country, which is a chain of islands in the Indian Ocean.

Deutsche Bank and HSBC advised Blackstone in the deal.

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