News and Analysis

Ford today announced a giant restructuring, with the big news being voluntary buyouts of hourly workers. It also said that it would not sell off any brands until new CEO Alan Mulally had been given a chance to review potential offers. Well, I can tell you that San Francisco-based Citron Capital has made a formal […]
Just some notes as I combat jetjag, following a weekend wedding in Los Angeles…  *** Draper Atlantic Ventures seems to have lost its Draper. The firm just began marketing for its $200 million-targeted third fund, under the name New Atlantic Ventures. It also has launched a new website that contains no mention of its original […]
Now that the silly Microsoft buyout talk is behind us, let’s move on to another target: Ford Motor Co., which began trading today at just $8.25 per share. For context, Toyota opened exactly $100 per share higher. The most basic problem is that Ford poured too much R&D into its gas-hungry truck and SUV division, […]
Private equity has been getting a barrage of popular press coverage, due largely to mega-deals for companies like HCA, Aramark and VNU (Kinder Morgan, for whatever reason, keeps being treated like a middle child). Most of said coverage, however, seems to have been assigned by unimaginative editors who want to know either: “Are large fund […]
I appeared on CNBC’s SquawkBox program this morning, in order to discuss The Financial Times’ inane suggestion that Microsoft could be next on the private equity shopping list. As I told the equally-skeptical anchors, Snakes on a Plane will win a best picture Oscar before Microsoft gets acquired by LBO firms. For those of you […]
Burger King is supposed to represent the best of what private equity has to offer. Unfortunately, it also represents the worst.  For the uninitiated: Burger King was acquired in 2002 by Bain Capital, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners and Texas Pacific Group. The transaction was valued at around $1.5 billion, including just $300 million in equity. […]
A popular press sport right now is to identify public companies that could be snatched up by leveraged buyout firms. Lots of attention being paid to perceived under-valuations, P/E ratios, lender proclivities, etc. But rather than providing a list of companies that could receive bids, let’s approach it from a different angle: How many U.S.-listed […]
9/11 Memorial, One World Trade Center
Lane MacDonald was staring at a conference room monitor at Boston-based Alta Communications as the first news reports of the Sept. 11 attacks began streaming in. Few specifics had been provided, but MacDonald was already uneasy about the safety of his colleagues. “When I first heard the reports, I had some concern because we almost […]

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