Blackstone files for $4bn IPO

The Blackstone Group is set to raise $4 billion through an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, confirming earlier reports that it would follow in the footsteps of Fortress Investment Group.

The Blackstone Group has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering that could value it at more than $40 billion.

The firm plans to raise up to $4 billion by selling shares in the offering, according to the prospectus filed with the SEC, representing a stake of about ten to fifteen percent. It did not indicate the expected price range of the IPO or the proposed ticker symbol.

Investment banks Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers, Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank are underwriting the offering. However Goldman Sachs will not be involved, contrary to earlier rumours.

News of Blackstone’s plans to go public emerged last week, but the firm declined to comment.

Chief executive Steven Schwarzman is likely to be the biggest winner from the IPO: he reportedly owns about 40 percent of the firm, which would value his stake at about $20 billion.

Fortress Investment Group became the first US hedge fund and private equity group to float on the New York Stock Exchange last month when it made an IPO that valued the firm at about $35 per share or $12 billion. That offering involved about 8 percent of the firm.