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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Blackstone president cashes in $64 million of his shares in company, (NYSE: BX)

Blackstone Group LP President Tony James earned $64.2 million last week by selling a fraction of his stake in the world's largest alternative asset manager at a time when its shares are hovering near a five-year high. James, who joined Blackstone in 2002 as co-founder Stephen Schwarzman's right-hand man and is credited with much of the company's expansion into asset classes beyond private equity, sold 3.5 million shares, referred to as common units, between Feb. 13 and Feb. 15, according to a filing submitted late on Feb. 15.Blackstone's common units traded as high as $19.69 on Tuesday, their highest price since May 2008, as investors bet that a pick-up in deal activity will allow the New York-based company to profitably exit more of its investments and distribute dividends to shareholders.The stock sale earned James more than he made as a top Blackstone executive in 2011, and leaves him with 7.8 million common units. In addition to the common units, he also held partnership units in Blackstone that totaled 34.1 million as of Feb. 17, 2012, according to the latest annual report.The exact number of partnership units James currently holds in Blackstone is not yet available. His overall stake of around 4 percent, which comes mostly from the partnership units, is unlikely to have changed substantially as a result of last week's sale.

The Blackstone Group L.P. (Blackstone) is a United States-based company that is a manager of private capital and provider of financial advisory services. Shares of BX traded higher by 0.1% or $0.02/share to $19.33. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $11.13 and as high as $19.34. On average, 4564740 shares of BX exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 4180098.