Breakingviews

Fresh flames rise from Sealy’s ever-burning bed

February 17, 2015

Uppity investor H Partners, alleging serial underperformance and stale private equity directors, wants Tempur Sealy’s CEO fired and a seat on the board. The company and the mattress industry have a torturous financial history. It probably means where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

Henry Kravis spins a different kind of club deal

September 16, 2014

The buyout baron’s KKR is buying Pioneer’s DJ audio equipment business for $550 mln. It’s Abenomics meets Ibiza for the private equity firm’s latest trendy investment. Kravis is laying down a smooth groove in a funky M&A market, but could be late to the dance music party.

Aussie bid battle questions wine’s standalone case

August 12, 2014

Two buyout groups have submitted rival $3.1 bln offers for the world’s only big listed wine producer. Australia’s Treasury Wine could benefit from better management. But a fragmented market and low brand loyalty also suggests the business is not suitable for the stock market.

Private equity discord is best collusion defense

August 7, 2014

Blackstone, KKR and TPG are paying $325 mln to resolve allegations that they conspired to limit buyout prices. Three other firms previously settled for less. Carlyle is holding out for now. Legally, there’s safety in numbers. Yet they can’t even agree on how to resolve the case.

Henry Kravis cultivates private equity perennials

May 30, 2014

U.S. firms like his are selling companies to each other at a record pace. Such deals are dubious, especially given how much capital is stockpiled. But KKR’s $1.6 bln buyout of landscaper Brickman and quick merger with rival ValleyCrest suggest the grass can indeed be greener.

It’s finally IPO showtime for Leon Black’s Apollo

By Reuters Staff
January 18, 2011

Apollo's IPO plans have aged well. Last week Leon Black's buyout shop filed the sixth iteration of its prospectus, the first of which was submitted to securities regulators three years ago.

KKR listing makes top brass look almost frugal

July 6, 2010

One of the most eagerly anticipated numbers in finance has finally been revealed. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts co-founders Henry Kravis and George Roberts collected a combined $44 million last year. That's plenty -- but a far cry from the $611 million Blackstone founders Steve Schwarzman and Pete Peterson pocketed the year before their private equity firm's 2007 IPO.

Private equity titans revel in Great Separation

November 8, 2013

A blowout quarter at Leon Black’s buyout shop helped it stand out from rivals. Investors are finally starting to distinguish among Apollo, Blackstone, Carlyle and KKR. That should be a welcome change even if it reflects some short-term thinking about a long-term business.

Brewing deal marks dawning of new PE era

October 15, 2009

Rumours of the demise of the mega buyout would appear to have been exaggerated. CVC’s $2.23 billion purchase of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s breweries in nine eastern European countries is the latest multi-billion dollar private equity deal to roll off the production line. It follows Blackstone’s bid for ABInBev’s U.S. theme parks and a deal involving CVC for British bus and train group National Express.

Bye bye bid-’em-up Bruce

October 15, 2009

The late Bruce Wesserstein created tremendous value for his banks (and bankers) but too many of his deals destroyed it for shareholders