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Blackstone Files To Sell More Shares

NEW YORK, June 23 (Reuters) – Blackstone Group (BX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) registered on Monday to sell 818 million shares over time, in a move that could dramatically boost the number of company shares trading in the market.

The registration will also make it easier for employees to sell their restricted shares in the future.

About one eighth of the 818,008,105 shares that were registered in the filing can be sold after August 12. Another eighth can be sold through a company program after August 12.

The company had about 255 million common shares outstanding as of May 1.

Blackstone went public on June 21, 2007, in a $4.13 billion initial offering.

The shares were offered at $31 apiece, but closed on Monday at $18.25, a 40 percent decline. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell about 15 percent during that period.

The shares held by employees, known as units, are generally subject to vesting requirements and transfer restrictions.

(Reporting by Dan Wilchins)