The Blackstone Group went public today, selling 133.3 million shares at $31 and raking in $4.13 billion, the largest American IPO since 2002. The keenly anticipated issue values the private equity firm, founded by Stephen Schwarzman 27 years ago with $400,000, at $33.5 billion; the price bodes well for other buyout specialists. KKR and Carlyle are also considering going public, Bloomberg reports.
A proposed tax-law change appeared not to dampen interest in the company, which reported 1Q profits of $1.13 billion, 15% less than it made in all of 2006. The share price was at the top of the range Blackstone had estimated in SEC filings. Trading begins on the NYSE tomorrow under the symbol "BX."