Skadden represented Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. and Citigroup Global Markets as the lead underwriters in The Blackstone Group's initial public offering. The first day of trading was June 22 in the offering that is the largest U.S. IPO for a private-equity firm and the largest overall U.S. IPO in five years.
Skadden also represented the Chinese government in its placement of $3 billion in foreign exchange reserves with The Blackstone Group. China said earlier this year it planned to diversify its $1.2 trillion of foreign-exchange reserves, which have until now been held mostly in U.S. Treasury bonds and other government debt. The Blackstone agreement, announced May 21, is China's first foray into other other investment vehicles. "The landmark deal signals China's determination to earn higher returns on its reserves," reported The Wall Street Journal. Skadden represented Central SAFE Investments, which manages part of China's foreign exchange reserves, in purchasing non-voting shares of Blackstone prior to the private equity firm's initial public offering. The Chinese government entity will own no more than 10 percent of Blackstone's shares.