Blackstone to switch from a partnership to a corporation

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FILE PHOTO: The ticker and trading information for Blackstone Group is displayed at the post where it is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) April 4, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Blackstone Group LP, the world’s largest manager of alternative assets such as private equity and real estate, said on Thursday it would convert from a partnership to a corporation, in a bid to get more investors into its stock.

Blackstone is hoping the move will boost its share price, which has for more than a decade traded at a discount to traditional asset managers such as BlackRock Inc.

It will a remove a tax shield it enjoys now, in exchange for enabling investors such as mutual funds and index trackers to buy the stock.

Blackstone also announced first-quarter earnings on Thursday, reporting distributable earnings – the actual cash available for paying dividends – of $538 million in the first quarter, up from $502 million a year earlier.

Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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