Blackstone IPO Mania! (Part II)

blackstoneipoblackstoneipoblackstoneipo.jpgOne reason that you’ll read so many similar stories today about that Blackstone prospectus: everyone’s writing about the same stuff because there’s not much stuff to write about. It’s got more holes than the septum of a Goldman commodities trader! Jonathan Keehner at Reuters explains that investors will get “precious little insight into the affairs of the behemoth or any real control.” How do you spell “blank check?” Oh, right. Like this: Blackstone.
Jenny Anderson explains why Blackstone is confident that it can convince investors to fork over money despite the blank-checky-ness of its prospectus. “Wall Street knows how to keep score. It’s called money,” Jenny writes. And Blackstone seems to mint it somewhere inside its offices.
Larry Ribstein says that the Blackstone structure may be a peak at a dawn of the new era: the Age of the Public Partnership. He’s not sure the publicly traded company model will work for private equity but he does think that Blackstone signals a move away from public companies toward partnerships. We’re reminded that this Blackstone structure will help the ‘Stoners avoid a lot of the things that currently plague public companies—activist shareholders, the threat of shareholder democracy, income taxes. The only question is how long lawmarkers will allow this exit from the corporate form if it starts to become popular.
The Financial Times says that the Blackstone IPO is all about acquiring “permanent capital” that doesn’t need to be returned to investors and will help the ‘Stoners smooth out the business cycles that have plagued the private equity industry. It’s like cutting the Gordian Knot of question of a private equity “market top”: Blackstone may be able to keep to dealflow coming even if the credit market dries up because it will be able to tap into public equity market.
Why were Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase left out of the Blackstone IPO bonanza? There’s been lots of speculation that “this time it’s personal” when it comes to Goldman. As DealJournal has pointed out, Goldman and Blackstone compete in a lot of the same businesses and the ‘Stoners might not have wanted to let team GS in to see the family jewels. One problem with this theory is that the Blackstone prospectus offers so little information, it’s not clear that any of the underwriters got to look very far into the Blackstone books. (Another theory raised by CNBC’s Charlie Gasparino was that Schwarzman’s still bitter about former Goldman boss Hank Paulson getting tapped as Treasury Secretary.) The New York Post has another idea: the KKR IPO! “Those banks along with others are said to be working on the IPO of another big buyout firm rumored to be Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., run by Wall Street legends Henry Kravis and George Roberts,” the Post’s Zachery Kouwe writes.
Last night a friend of ours wondered if Steve Schwarman might drop his $350,000 salary in the backseat of a cab after celebrating the IPO one night. Like a spare umbrella or a girl you met at The Anchor. “It is disclosed that Stephen Schwarzman’s salary will be $350,000. But that’s just the money he uses to tip coat-check ladies,” writes Justin Fox in the Curious Capitalist, a Time Magazine blog on business. Who knew Time writers were allowed to be funny?
Schwarzman’s salary leads Dana Cimilluca to remark, “While it would be considered good take-home pay for most, for Schwarzman it probably would cover a mere slice of his birthday cake.” But don’t forget about his equity. He gets to have his cake and eat it too!
Dana also claims first prize for being the first to ask: Is Blackstone The New Goldman Sachs?

bradydougantakesovercreditsuisse.jpgIt’s now been a full day since Credit Suisse announced it had tapped American Brady Dougan to be its next chief executive. Everyone’s been scrambling to figure out just who this Dougan fellow is and what it means. Fortunately, DealBreaker spent our morning scouring the business media for news, insights and colorful stories so you don’t have to. Bloomberg, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal‘s “Heard on the Street” seem to have all the best stuff. And since it’s Friday, and we love to do Media Roundups on Fridays, we bring you the Brady Dougan Media Roundup.
Beverage Preference: Diet Dr. Pepper, according to the New York Times. This clashes with a 2005 Business Week story claiming Dougan was a Diet Pepsi enthusiast.
To add to the confusion, the NYT notes “When the executive board of Credit Suisse went to dinner at the Savoy in Zurich Wednesday night to celebrate his appointment, Mr. Dougan dined on agnoletti and Diet Coke.”
The unanswered questions: Has Dougan always preferred Diet Dr. Pepper? Has he switched? Or did someone get this detail wrong? Is Diet Dr. Pepper unavailable at the Savoy in Zurich?
DealBreaker was too ashamed to contact Credit Suisse with these pressing questions.
Nationality: American. First American ever to run Credit Suisse.
Exercise Preference: Marathons, according to the NYT, the Wall Street Journal and just about everyone else. The NYT has the killer detail—”his best time was 2 hours and 21 minutes (a pace of about 5 minutes and 40 seconds a mile).” Sometimes works out twice a day (NYT).
Personality type: He’s a “shy workaholic” (Times) who sometimes works “18 hour days” (WSJ).
Work ethic: “Legendary” (NYT). Known to arrive at work at 5 am.
Age: Forty-seven, which as almost everyone notes, makes him the youngest head ever of “a global banking giant” (NYT).
Fashion statement: It seems that everyone notes he doesn’t wear cuff-links. But this is old news. Business Week noted it in 2005. Who wears cuff-links in 2007 anyway? The NYT goes further, describing Dougan as ” disheveled.”
Marital status: Divorced. Two kids. (NYT)
Social life: “Intensely private” the NYT notes, adding that Dougan “does not appear in the social pages nor does he seem to revel in the fine wine and bright lights of Manhattan’s financial elite.” Indeed, a search of found not one entry for Dougan.

Financial background:
He started out as a derivatives guy, and his elevation makes him the first derivatives guy to run a global banking institution. (Bloomberg)
Managerial Reputation: He’s a famous cost-cutter. He cut back on town cars (NYT), color copying and staff parties (Bloomberg)

“A question mark is Mr. Dougan’s ability to lead Credit Suisse’s other core business, wealth management,” the WSJ says.
Hidden Talent: From the Times of London: “he has twice dressed up at corporate functions as the blonde one in Abba. The female one, that is. Agnetha. Apparently the Swiss contingent weren’t terribly amused.”

Stepping Lively at Credit Suisse
[New York Times]

The American in Zurich
[Wall Street Journal]

Dougan Leads Derivative Traders to First Top Bank Job