Today’s column just fell apart, which led to yelling (at no one in particular) that startled a dog walker outside of the home office in Framingham. So I’ll let others pick up the slack until tomorrow…
*** CalPERS is using a two-year-old private equity disclosure law to withhold information about political contributions from venture capital firms to members of the CalPERS board, according to The Los Angeles Times. The article specifically relates to allegations that ITU Ventures solicited political contributions from its portfolio company, which then were directed to the failed gubernatorial race of California Controller Steve Westly. It also could have been expanded to include similar past allegations related to Westly and Healthpoint Capital Partners. Both ITU Ventures and Healthpoint received fund commitments from CalPERS.
The law was a compromise bill whereby private equity fund performance (e.g. top-line data) would be publicly-disclosed, while bottom-line data (e.g. portfolio company valuations) would remain confidential. I supported it then, and support it now. Too bad CalPERS apparently has decided to pervert the law’s meaning to cover its own behind.
*** Going Private wades into the Ben Stein vs. MBOs debate.
*** Quiztime: Can you name the former corporate bigshot-turned-VC who is planning to launch a niche fund under his firm’s banner? Hint: Think retail.
*** TV Update: I’ll be on CBNC tomorrow morning at around 6:40am, to discuss various LBO targets.
*** Finally, a regular reader question is: “How can colleagues sign up for the PE Week Wire?” Just send them to our automated Subscribe Page. Do be sure to pass it around…