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Blackstone to switch from a partnership to a corporation

NEW YORK, April 18 (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)