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29 Oct 2007

Fund Of Resources-Hedge Fund Launch

The Gibraltar based Sirius Investment Management is launching the Sirius Investment Fund II, a natural resource and mining-focused fund of hedge funds, which will be open to new investment on 1 November.

It will invest predominantly in hedge funds that invest in very early stage mining plays and other natural resources, projects which are not dependent on fluctuations in commodity prices to generate returns, Sirius said.

It is particularly interested in projects which are moving from exploration to production, the stage with the greatest uplift in valuation. Larger companies with established production are more sensitive to the commodity price, Sirius added, so the fund will not invest in such opportunities. It targets 20% and hopes to raise $300m.

The Sirius Resource Fund, a resources special situations hybrid fund launched in April this year is broadly targeting iron ore, gold, diamonds, energy and copper plays, but expects to concentrate primarily on African emerging markets. Its special situations strategy will see investment targeted in pre-initial public offering companies as well as in small-cap listed equities and physical assets.

The fund has delivered 54.2% since inception, with an August return of 16.07% and has $50 million in assets under management.

Blackstone Appoints New Hilton Head

Hilton Hotels Corporation and Blackstone Group announced the completion of their merger last week and are now expected to name Host chief executive of Hotels & Resorts Inc Christopher Nassetta as president and CEO, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Merger has been financed with $20.6 billion of mortgage and mezzanine debt financing and approximately $5.7 billion of equity invested by hedge funds affiliated with The Blackstone Group. As part of his new responsibilities, Nassetta will build up Hilton’s luxury lines, aiming to "marry" the hotel’s numerous lines, including Embassy Suites, Doubletree and Hampton Inn, with many of Blackstone's own hotels.

Acquisition financing was provided by Bear Stearns, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley. Hilton Hotels Corporation is the leading global hospitality company, with 2,896 properties totaling approximately 490,000 rooms in 76 countries and territories.

The Blackstone Group is a global alternative asset manager and provider of financial advisory services. Its alternative asset management businesses include the management of corporate private equity funds, real estate opportunity funds, funds of hedge funds, mezzanine funds, senior debt funds, proprietary hedge funds and closed-end mutual funds.