Blackstone Group ( BX) will pay between $700 million and $750 million for AlliedBarton Security Services, the largest provider of security guards in the U.S., according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Tuesday. Blackstone will contribute about $270 million in equity to the purchase price, according to a person involved in the deal. The price will reach $750 million if the company meets certain performance targets in 2009. Fueled partly by acquisitions, AlliedBarton has seen its revenue nearly triple to $1.5 billion in the five years since it was acquired by Revlon ( REV) and M&F Worldwide ( MFH) Chairman Ronald Perelman's MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings, according to AlliedBarton Chairman, President and CEO Bill Whitmore. Whitmore, 56, will stay on along with the rest of current management, despite the change in ownership. "They have fully understood and support our strategic plan," Whitmore says of Blackstone. Credit Suisse ( CS), General Electric ( GE) and HSBC ( HBC) will provide a combined $380 million in senior debt to finance the transaction, according to a person involved. Credit Suisse also advised AlliedBarton on the sale, as did Lehman Brothers ( LEH). Though Bank of America ( BAC) advised Blackstone and has been an active leveraged lender of late, it will not be among the senior lenders. A BofA spokeswoman declined to comment on why, saying the company has a policy of not commenting on client matters or transactions.
A banker not at BofA says this is not unusual, however, as private equity firms like Blackstone have a carefully calibrated system for doling out fees to Wall Street, which is based on a series of transactions, rather than just one. Blackstone is still considering whether to lend into the deal, as it is doing with its joint acquisition, along with Bain Capital and NBC Universal, of The Weather Channel from Landmark Communications. Other participants in the deal are Credit Suisse private equity affiliate DLJ Merchant Banking, GoldenTree Asset Management , Oaktree Capital Management and Apollo Advisors, which are combining to provide $175 million in mezzanine financing.