Firms battle on $39b buyout

NEW YORK: The Brunswick Group and Kekst & Co. were on opposite sides of a hard-fought bid to buy Equity Office Properties, which concluded last week in a $39 billion leveraged buyout, the largest such deal in history.

NEW YORK: The Brunswick Group and Kekst & Co. were on opposite sides of a hard-fought bid to buy Equity Office Properties, which concluded last week in a $39 billion leveraged buyout, the largest such deal in history.

Brunswick Group is working with The Blackstone Group, the private equity firm that won out with a successful $39 billion bid for the commercial real estate holding company. Kekst handled communications for Vornado Realty Trust, which waged a fierce bidding war with Blackstone, but ultimately backed out when the price climbed too high.

Equity Office did not immediately return a call regarding whether it worked with a firm on its sale. Equity Office worked with Citigate Sard Verbinnen, according to EO spokesperson Terry Holt.

Brunswick partner Michael Buckley led the firm's work on the deal, noted Blackstone SVP of corporate communications and PR John Ford. Brunswick's work is not yet finished because Blackstone is now in the process of selling off portions of Equity Office's portfolio, which will entail further M&A communications tasks.

Kekst partners Wendi Kopsick and Roanne Kulakoff led that firm's work on behalf of Vornado, Kopsick said.

Both Blackstone and Vornado had worked with the respective agencies on various deals in the past.

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