A New Turn For Blackstone's Schwarzman?

He’s made headlines for billion-dollar buyouts and an extravagant birthday blowout.

Now, Stephen Schwarzman, the 60-year-old co-founder and CEO of Blackstone Group, is making news on the irony that the king of private equity may be going public.


The buyout billionaire has often criticized Wall Street's tough regulatory environment and lauded the advantages enjoyed by private companies. However, Blackstone is working with investment bankers to prepare for an initial public offering that could be filed in the next two weeks, people familiar with the firm’s plans told CNBC's David Faber.

Schwarzman is believed to own 40% of Blackstone, which could be worth as much as $30 billion. An IPO, therefore, would boost Schwarzman’s net worth, currently estimated at some $3.5 billion by Forbes, which ranked him the 249th richest person in the world.

Schwarzman co-founded Blackstone in 1985, with partner Peter Peterson. The firm originally focused on private equity and leveraged buyouts, but has expanded into real estate, hedge funds, corporate debt and corporate advisory and restructurings. The firm has invested in 100 companies with a total enterprise value of $160 billion and operates the world’s largest buyout fund.

Schwarzman is credited with executing the $38 billion deal for commercial-building empire Equity Office Properties Trust, the world's biggest leveraged buyout to date--a testament to his dealmaking skills. Blackstone won the bidding war for Equity Office, trumping rival suitor Vornado Realty Trust, which had boosted its bid three times.

Schwarzman attended Yale University with President George W. Bush and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. He began his career at the investment bank Lehman Brothers , where he worked in global mergers and acquisitions and was elected managing director at age 31.

Born on Valentine’s Day, Schwarzman shelled out an estimated $3 million on a lavish 60th birthday bash last month at Park Avenue Armory in New York City. Barry Diller, Donald Trump and fellow buyout moguls Wilbur Ross and Thomas H. Lee were among the guests.