March 11, 2020 / 7:40 PM / 17 days ago

Blackstone says no blanket policy to tap credit lines

FILE PHOTO: The ticker and trading information for Blackstone Group is displayed at the post where it is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) April 4, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

(Reuters) - Private equity firm Blackstone Group Inc (BX.N) does not have a sweeping directive in place to encourage companies in its portfolio to draw down credit lines in a bid to ride out the coronavirus pandemic, the company said in a statement.

Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that the company had sent a directive to its companies to do whatever it took to stave off a credit crunch, including tapping credit lines.

“There is no firmwide directive to our portfolio companies to draw upon credit lines,” a Blackstone spokesman said in an email. “We are evaluating the financing needs of certain companies directly impacted by COVID-19.”

A wide range of U.S. and European listed companies have been scrambling in recent days to draw down funds from existing credit lines and in some cases take out new lending as the extent of the impact of the outbreak on growth unfolds.

Reporting by Bharath Manjesh and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham

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