Bad Day For Blackstone As IPO Window Closes
Whereas Blackstone top ticked its IPO sublimely with the very peak of the stock market, they seem to be losing their magic touch. Today's horrible weather apparently impaired the mood of those who enjoy using other people's money to buy the "equity" in companies still leveraged 7x and higher, i.e. Blackstone specials. Graham Packaging is the last attempt by Blackstone to salvage something out of this bear market rally.
Blackstone Group LP’s Graham
Packaging Co. cut its initial public offering by more than half
as a slumping market for IPOs helped prevent the world’s largest
private-equity firm from trimming its stake in the maker of
Graham Packaging, 75 percent owned by Blackstone, lowered
the price of today’s stock sale to $10 to $11 each from as much
as $16, after pushing back the offer from yesterday, according
to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing and Bloomberg
data. Existing owners will no longer sell shares and the IPO may
raise as little as $167 million, 55 percent less than the
maximum Blackstone and Graham originally sought.
Unfortunately for Schwarzman the fourth time was not the charm.
Graham Packaging’s IPO today is at least the fourth time
Blackstone has tried to sell the York, Pennsylvania-based
company since completing its acquisition of the plastic-
container maker in 1998, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
For Blackstone apparently getting any equity value out of a company is enough.
Graham Packaging will be the second U.S. company majority-
owned by Blackstone offered in an IPO after Stephen Schwarzman,
62, the firm’s chief executive officer, said in October that
there were as many as eight companies that it planned to take
public. For Knoxville, Tennessee-based Team Health Holdings
Inc.’s deal in December, Blackstone accepted a 25 percent
discount and also dropped its portion of the sale.
Yet the piece de resistance comes from Dow Jones, which reports that Blackstone has just postponed the IPO of formerly going-public shoe in, and mega-LBO, Travelport, which has pulled the "market conditions" card. The IPO window is now over. Will the HY issuance window follow suit?