When the U.S. Department of Justice began its inquiry into club deals earlier this year, a spokesman for the UK Financial Services Authority told me that it was planning “no investigation into private equity deals in the UK.” Now, less than two months later, officials from the FSA are interviewing people involved in four key takeover bids to try […]
John Lehman is chairman and a founding partner of J.F. Lehman & Co., a mid-market private equity firm focused on the aerospace, defense and maritime industries. He also is the former Secretary of the U.S. Navy, and recently completed service as a member of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (a.k.a. […]
Debate continues to rage over whether buyout firms are somehow cheating on their deals. Are they stealing companies from hapless shareholders? Are they colluding on large transactions in a blatant violation of anti-trust laws?  And if not, how else can the enormous profits so many buyout firms generate be explained? All are interesting questions that […]
I was on CNBC this morning (video here) to discuss last year’s $6.6 billion buyout of the original category killer: Toys ‘R’ Us. It was part of an ongoing “Buyout Scorecard” series, but the reality is that it’s too early to be rending judgment on equity sponsors Bain Capital, KKR and Vornado Realty. Not far […]
I’ll be on CNBC tomorrow morning at 7:40am to discuss the Toys ‘R’ U buyout, one year later. Lots of debt, lots of real estate and lots of Barbie Dolls… Got any thoughts, be sure to let me know.
With all the mega-LBO activity of late, it’s sometimes easy to forget that the most transactional action remains in the middle-markets (redefined as deals between $50 million and $1 billion). So let’s play 5 Questions with Randal Stephenson, head of middle-market M&A at CIT Group:  1. Private equity deals are making up an ever-larger piece […]
I was on CNBC earlier this morning to discuss possible buyouts of newspaper companies. For the uninitiated, both Tribune Co. and Trinity Mirror are on the block, while various folks have expressed interest in buying the New York Times and/or its Boston Globe subsidiary. My basic point was that these are basically vanity plays – […]
It seems that ludicrous/lucrative transaction and management fees aren’t all that HCA disclosed in the 8-K form it filed last Friday with the SEC. Check out this passage that reader Zach noticed on page 12 (the bolding is mine): “In each of the employment agreements with the Executives (exclusive of Robert A. Waterman), the Company also commits to […]
Roark Capital Group of Atlanta recently acquired Schlotzsky’s Inc., an Austin, Texas-based sandwich shop chain with around $210 million in annual revenue. The deal was officially made by Roark-controlled Focus Brands, and is just the latest in a long line of restaurant industry deals this year. So let’s play Five Questions with Neal Aronson, managing […]
In 2001, the Boston Red Sox hiked ticket prices just 24 hours after the New England Patriots had won their first Super Bowl. It was an egregious increase, but no one noticed. People also don’t notice much on the day after Thanksgiving, because they either are suffering tryptophan hangovers or are in pre-stampede mode at […]

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