NEW YORK CITY-Blackstone’s long-awaited initial public offering has finally hit Wall Street today, with 133.3 million common units launching at $31 per share. The stock, representing 12.3% of the company and trading as “BX”, is at the high end of the $29 to $31 price that the company said it would sell for.

The stock will trade on the NYSE. Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. and Citigroup Global Markets Inc. are global coordinators and underwriters of the transaction. They and Merrill Lynch & Co, Credit Suisse, Lehman Brothers and Deutsche Bank Securities and joint book-running managers of the IPO.

The IPO was concurrent with Blackstone’s previously announced sale of $3 billion in non-voting stock, a full 10% of the company, to China through its State Investment Co. subsidiary.

“We have decided to become a public company,” Blackstone said in a filing of its IPO intention in March, “to access new sources of permanent capital that we can use to invest in our existing businesses, to expand into complementary new businesses and to further strengthen our development as an enduring institution; to enhance our firms valuable brand; to provide us with a publicly traded equity currency and to enhance our flexibility in pursuing future strategic acquisitions.”

Blackstone’s February $38.9-billion buy-out of Equity Office Partners was the largest private equity buy-out ever, real estate or otherwise. That transaction gave it 580 buildings with 108.6 million sf, much of which it flipped back to an eager array of buyers. The buildings it is currently holding from EOP, after a few months, are back in public ownership.

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