Background: Blackstone ( BX) became a public company in June 2007 when it raised $4.8 billion in its much talked-about IPO. Blackstone's IPO was controversial because it was one of the largest private equity firms to look to the public markets for capital amid a so-called frothy market that was starting to show signs of trouble and ultimately led to a global recession. As well, a bulk of the IPO proceeds went to Blackstone's founders, including co-founder and chairman and CEO Stephen Schwarzman. Blackstone had priced its IPO aggressively at $31 a share, and while the stock made strong gains during its first day of trading, the shares could not hold on to the gains, especially as the market began to crumble. Stock performance: Blackstone shares have fallen 16.27% this year. The stock is up 1.65% to $11.73 Monday.