Blackstone may take eight companies public

Blackstone's (BX) CEO Steve Schwarzman told his investors in a letter that his private equity firm may take as many as eight of its firms public. According to the Financial Times, the letter said, "We see the world changing once again. At least for private equity, the worst is behind the industry." Blackstone is also planning to sell up to five firms in its private equity portfolio.

The news may mark the chance for some of Blackstone's investors to get returns on locked up assets, but the implications go much further. Taking as many as eight companies public is a process that could take months if not several quarters. What Blackstone is saying, without making it blatant, is that it believes that the current stock market rally has a good opportunity of being sustained. A sharp correction would make any IPO difficult and would ruin Blackstone's' plans.

In a period when IPOs are still scarce, the idea that one company could do eight of them is extraordinary. It will certainly encourage other companies on the sidelines to attempt their own IPOs. The moribund public offering market may be about to get hot again.

Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 24/7 Wall St.

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