DealZone

“The He-Man of the recession”

April 1, 2009

Children's character Postman Pat poses outside Buckingham Palace in central London

As anti-capitalists, environmentalists, anti-war campaigners and others protested in the City of London to mark what they dubbed “Financial Fools’ Day”, the lobby group for Britain’s much-maligned private equity industry spied an opportunity to contrast the mayhem with their own activities.

It’s hard to tell just how far the BVCA‘s metaphorical tongue was in its cheek with this OTT press release, prompted by the protests and the “pre-pack sale” of the owner to the rights of some British kids’ TV characters, including He-Man and Postman Pat (pictured).

Still they insisted it was not an April fool, even as they billed private equity a possible “He-Man of the recession”. With this kind of deft “brand repositioning”, surely it won’t be long before Britons warm to the buyout houses. Full release in all its glory below:

PRIVATE EQUITY SAVES POSTMAN PAT AND RUPERT THE BEAR (among others)

As anti-capitalist protestors rampaged through London , private equity investors were busy rescuing much loved institutions. Boomerang media, owned by US private equity firm GTCR has saved Entertainment Rights, the company which owns the intellectual property rights to a host of classic children’s characters, including Postman Pat, Rupert the Bear, He-Man, George of the Jungle and Casper the Friendly Ghost.

The deal, which saves 90 jobs in the UK and US, underlines the role private equity firms have to play in rescuing distressed companies.

A relieved Simon Walker, Chief Executive of the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association said:

“On a day of violence and amid economic gloom, it is immensely heartening to hear that Postman Pat has not made his last delivery. In many ways, private equity can be the He-Man of the recession, hauling companies back from the brink and breathing life into ghostly companies. We are experiencing a severe Bear market but private equity has the cash and experience to branch out, take on challenging situations, rescue jobs and position the economy for the up-swing.”

[This is NOT a late April Fools Day joke]“

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/