MPs grill private equity bosses

This isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned the UK parliament having a go at private equity bosses. Seems they’re not finished, yet.

Not only is the Treasury select committe meeting again today (and Tuesday, July 3), but Graeme Wearden is there, live-blogging (I can’t help it – the idea of live-blogging a Treasury committee hearing is awesome!).

It appears to be a bit Unions v. Equity Bosses early on, with job-slashing-upon-stalking-and-purchase the issue (this was a big element of the aborted stalking of Sainsbury’s, not too long ago).

Taxes paid (i.e. not paid) and what to do about taper relief are of interest to Treasury, as is the combination of secrecy under private equity buy-outs and leveraged buy-outs. Specifically structurally risky debt instruments. Which they bloody-well should be.



The unions aren’t having this all their own way. MPs are suggesting the unions are motivated by a desire to fuel the class war.

Not true, says Mr Dromey.

“We have great respect for venture capitalists, who create wealth and jobs”. The tax system is “being exploited by management buy-ins”.

He’s also cited Cadbury’s announcement yesterday of up to 7,800 job cuts, which it said was driven by the private equity threat.

“We’re just sticking up for our members, as you should stick up for your constituents”. Heady stuff from Jack Dromey, who is taking an assertive approach.

It’s a good hearing – Americans will find it a good deal more interesting than Gonzalez’ memory or everyone from Mark McGwire to Petroleum CEOs sitting and pleading the Fifth over and over again.


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