Simpson Thacher advises Blackstone on landmark IPO

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has scooped a role advising longstanding private equity client the Blackstone Group on its US IPO.

The flotation on the New York Stock Exchange represents the largest US IPO in the past five years and one of the largest in history. With 133 million units listing at $31 a unit, the offering raised a total of $4.13bn (£2.07bn).

The units began trading today with Blackstone granting underwriters, which are being led by Morgan Stanley and Citi, a 30-day option to buy up to 20 million additional units at a discounted price.

Simpson Thacher corporate partner Josh Bonnie led the team advising on the IPO alongside partners and associates from the firm’s capital markets, tax, M&A and investment management practices.

One of industry’s first flotations, the Blackstone IPO was complex in that it is structured as a partnership that is exempt from the governance requirements of investment companies. The work was further complicated by the high level of press coverage the IPO received.

The banks on the float, which include Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, Lehman Brothers and Deutsche Bank as book runners, were advised by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.