Deal of the year: Blackstone/Morgan Stanley

Even relatively simple deals can be complex when they are big and need to be done quickly - as was the case with the $3.5 billion margin loan Morgan Stanley's equity solutions team arranged for Blackstone last June

Joel Carter, Morgan Stanley

In terms of raw numbers, the story of Blackstone's buyout of the Hilton Hotels group appears baffling. The private equity giant led a $26 billion leveraged buyout of the firm at the height of the debt boom in 2007, including an initial $5.6 billion of its own capital. Two years later, with the crisis in full swing, it was facing an unrealised 70% loss on its investment. Yet fast forward to mid-2014, and Blackstone was toasting a paper profit of $12 billion – making the buyout one of the most

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