Investment firm Blackstone will become a corporation in July, shifting from its current status as a publicly traded partnership.
Making the change to a corporation will allow “double the number of people” who are able to buy Blackstone’s stock, CEO Stephen Schwarzman said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” Being a publicly-traded partnership has been “very irksome,” Schwarzman said, as it disqualifies Blackstone from “being able to be owned by a huge number of potential buyers.”
“If you look at the ability to have people buy your stock: Double the number and we’ll grow more,” Schwarzman said. “That’s just in the U.S. There are people who are non-U.S., in foreign countries; they can’t buy us either.”
Shares of Blackstone surged 9.5% in premarket trading from Wednesday’s close of $35.93 a share.
The firm also reported first-quarter results on Thursday. Blackstone raised $126 billion over the past year, a record for the firm.
“That’s a huge number in the alternative area. We’re the largest by far of everybody in that business,” Schwarzman said.
Schwarzman credited Blackstone’s growth with its ability to diversify its investments, keeping the firm’s strategies “the right size,” he said.
“We keep inventing new ways to invest, new things to invest in, new place to invest,” Schwarzman said. “Our private equity business, our fund will have the largest fund in the world, and that enables us to do deals that other firms could never think about.”
Blackstone has $512 billion in assets under management as of the latest report. The firm has been a publicly traded partnership since its IPO in 2007.