Dec 30, 2008

Blackstone to Invest in Nuziveedu Seeds

New York / Mumbai, December 30, 2008: The Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX), announced today that the Board of Directors of NSL Group (“NSL”) have approved an investment into “NSL Seeds” the flagship company of the privately-owned NSL group, by The Blackstone Group and its affiliates (“Blackstone”) for a minority position. As part of this transaction, Blackstone will have representation on the Board of NSL Seeds. The amount of the investment was not disclosed.

NSL Seeds is the largest hybrid seed company in India, engaged in R&D, production and marketing of seeds with market leadership in hybrid cotton seeds and significant presence in other field crops including corn, rice, sunflower, sorghum, pearl millet, and vegetable crops. The company has a strong research platform that in the past has produced some of the leading cotton hybrid brands. In addition, the company’s distribution network, with nearly 25 stocking depots, 1000 distributors, 20,000 sub-dealers and a 350 person strong sales and marketing team, is the largest in the Indian seeds industry.

Commenting on the deal Mr. Prabhakar Rao, Chairman and Managing Director of NSL Group, said “We are excited about the investment by The Blackstone Group and value their association as our long term partner. With their track record in adding value, their global reach and proactive approach, Blackstone’s involvement will be very valuable in our journey from a privately-held company to a publicly-listed world-class Bio-Agri franchise.”

Mr. Akhil Gupta, Chairman and Managing Director of Blackstone Advisors India Private Limited, said “NSL is one of the strongest franchises in the Indian agriculture sector. It has been built over a period of 30 years under the visionary leadership of Mr Prabhakar Rao. India is focusing on improving its agriculture sector and is witnessing a significant increase in investments in it. We believe that for Blackstone NSL is an ideal partner to explore the significant potential of this highly attractive sector. We have been impressed by both the breadth and depth of NSL’s management team and look forward to working with them.”

JM Financial was the advisor for this transaction.

About The Blackstone Group

Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment and advisory firms. We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, the companies we advise and the broader global economy. We do this through the commitment of our extraordinary people and flexible capital. Our alternative asset management businesses include the management of corporate private equity funds, real estate funds, hedge funds, funds of funds, debt funds, collateralized loan obligation vehicles (CLOs) and closed-end mutual funds. The Blackstone Group also provides various financial advisory services, including mergers and acquisitions advisory, restructuring and reorganization advisory and fund placement service. Further information is available at http://www.blackstone.com/.

Contacts:

The Blackstone Group
Peter Rose 
New York 
+1 212 583 5871 
rose@blackstone.com 

 IPAN
 Vinod Moorthy
 Mumbai
 +91 22 2266 1755 
 vinod.moorthy@ipan.com