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Exclusive: Blackstone forms tech partnership

January 26, 2012: 10:24 AM ET

Blackstone Group teams up with Francisco Partners.

The Blackstone Group (BX) has quietly formed a strategic partnership with San Francisco-based private equity firm Francisco Partners, Fortune has learned. The move is intended to revitalize Blackstone's technology private equity practice, which has experienced a number of personnel departures over the past two years.

Here's my understanding of how it will work: Blackstone will kick smaller tech opportunities over to Francisco, which currently is investing out of a $2 billion fund closed in 2009. If Francisco identifies larger tech opportunities, it will work on them with Blackstone – likely taking a minority position while Blackstone writes the big check.

As of yesterday, neither firm had informed its limited partners of the arrangement.

There was talk last month that Blackstone was among several private equity firms circling Yahoo (YHOO), but sources now say that its only remaining involvement could be through a sale of The Weather Channel, which Yahoo would use as part of a cash-rich split with its Asian partners Alibaba and Softbank Corp.

Last year, Blackstone lost tech-focused investors Chip Schorr, Ted Coons and Clayton Albertson to other firms.

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About This Author
Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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