The news coverage of the Blackstone IPO over the last several days has raised more questions than it’s answered. Newsweek magazine asks who benefits under the structure proposed in the SEC filings. Without typical information like guidance earnings, Newsweek asks, how are investors to know they are sharing in the prosperity? Meanwhile, Time asks if the offer isn’t like “selling full-price tickets to a ball game in the ninth inning,” and the International Herald Tribune speculates that the IPO is largely about easing the retirement of founders Schwarzman and Peterson.
AFX International Focus also noted the proposals for limited shareholder rights, saying that Blackstone was “extending an interesting proposal to retail investors: a piece of the action, just not a seat at the table,” while the Financial Times warned that investors are “strictly along for a the ride” with Blackstone’s management.
In the New York Times, Andrew Sorkin highlights Blackstone’s own “baby steps” toward changing the industry’s image by including a provision for a charitable foundation in their IPO and solicits his readers to help suggest a new moniker for public relations troubled “Private Equity.”