Paul Taubman, PJT Colleagues Said to Buy Investor's 8% Stake

  • Seller said to have acquired stake in spinoff from Blackstone
  • Partners said to buy $500,000 to $1 million of Class A shares

Executives at Paul Taubman’s PJT Partners Inc., the boutique investment bank that spun off from Blackstone Group LP last month, bought about 8 percent of their firm’s Class A stock for almost $30 million from an investor, according to people familiar with the transaction.

The investor had received the 1.5 million shares through the spinout, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing a private transaction. Taubman, who founded his own merger-advisory firm in 2013 after three decades with Morgan Stanley, was among executives who bought shares for $20 apiece, according to regulatory filings after the stock closed at $21.62 on Friday. Chief Financial Officer Helen Meates, managing partner Ji-Yeun Lee and other senior leaders also increased their stakes.

The transaction gave PJT executives a chance to invest more heavily in the investment bank after it combined with Blackstone’s advisory businesses and broke off. The boutique’s stock began trading publicly on Oct. 1, closing at $21. The decision to take over the investor’s stake was made in the past two weeks, and each participating partner typically bought $500,000 to $1 million of stock, one of the people said.

PJT shares climbed 2 percent to $22.06 at 11:51 a.m. in New York. Julie Oakes, a spokeswoman for PJT at Joele Frank Wilkinson Brimmer & Katcher, declined to comment.

Taubman, 54, emphasized the investment bank’s growth prospects when talking with analysts earlier this month.

“We are committed to significantly expanding our addressable market by becoming independent from Blackstone,” he said on a conference call Nov. 12. “In just the first nine months of 2015, the combined PJT Blackstone advisory businesses announced more than five times the deal volume of the stand-alone Blackstone advisory business in 2014.”

Blackstone shareholders had received one Class A share of PJT for every 40 units of the money-management firm. Blackstone’s largest investors include Fidelity Investments, Morgan Stanley and Janus Capital, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. While PJT anticipated some institutional shareholders would reduce stakes, the $30 million transaction is expected to be a one-time occurrence, the person said.

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