Chase Manhattan Bank is leading the financing to back the Blackstone Group's $650 million acquisition of a controlling stake in American Axle and Manufacturing Inc., an automotive manufacturer and supplier.

Though the details of the capital structure have not been finalized, Chase has made a commitment in excess of $500 million of senior bank debt for the transaction, according to an executive at New York-based Blackstone.

The investment, announced Friday, is being made through Blackstone Capital Partners II Merchant Banking Fund LP.

The commitment will not only provide funds for financing the acquisition, but also substantial additional liquidity for the company's capital programs, according to John Woodard, a managing director at Blackstone.

"Blackstone has a longtime relationship with Chase," Mr. Goddard said, adding that Chase provided the financing backing for Blackstone's acquisition in 1994 of a 75% stake in UCAR International Inc.

Detroit-based American Axle, which has plants in Michigan and New York, was formed in 1994 when General Motors sold its axle-making business as part of a restructuring of its parts-making unit.

Some of Blackstone's other investments this year include Allied Waste, CommNet Cellular, and Haynes International.


Salomon Brothers Realty Corp. is leading a revolving $300 million line of credit to Olen Companies, a Newport Beach, Calif.-based real estate developer.

The funding is secured by commercial and multifamily real estate properties and will be held in Salomon's own portfolio.

Barnett Realty Partners arranged the placement of the funding. The unit of Jacksonville, Fla.-based Barnett Banks was set up last year as a liaison between commercial real estate companies and financing sources.

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