The Blackstone Group's plan to go public could hasten the day of the $100 billion leveraged buyout. The private equity giant is considering going public, as CNBC first reported on Friday. While it would no longer be a private firm, "it would do deals in the same way," says Phillip Phan, professor of management at the Lally School of Management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Those deals would be a lot bigger, though. Limited partners such as pension funds would be able to put more equity into deals, allowing Blackstone to pull off larger buyouts. That would it easier to buy big companies such as Home Depot or Time Warner, which have long-been the subject of buyout speculation. While some people believe that Blackstone already has the wherewithal for such a transaction, it would be easier as a public company.
An announcement of an IPO filing could come soon, perhaps as early as next week. Blackstone "would be able to compete with strategics," Phan said, "like GE."