Private equity's public problems

Just to prove that those incredibly well-remunerated private equity types don't always get things their own way, here's the heartening news that US PE giant Blackstone, which floated on Wall Street in June, has been one of the worst performing IPOs so far this year.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Blackstone's shares hit a low of $25.71 yesterday, down from $31 at float. That's a 17% drop after only a month of public trading. And this despite the fact that business continues to go well. Blackstone's advisory group - under former HSBC exec John Studzinski - has just engineered a huge deal to advise the China Development Bank's move to take a stake in Barclay's.

Although there are real concerns over the health of the US credit market, which could have severe consequences for all practitioners of the LBO, the Wall Street commentariat has identified another possible cause of all this bad sentiment. Apparently there is a suspicion abroad amongst the citizens of New York's financial district that Blackstone's partners - including founder Steve Schwarzman, pictured - may have been motivated to float rather less by the long term interests of potential shareholders and rather more by the opportunity for yet another massive pay day. You don't say..

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