Home > Uncategorized > Documents Depict Equity Firms Like Bain as Colluding – NYTimes.com

Documents Depict Equity Firms Like Bain as Colluding – NYTimes.com

September 12, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

WASHINGTON — In court documents that lawyers for Bain Capital sought to keep secret, the company and other leading private equity firms are depicted as unofficial partners in a bid-rigging conspiracy aimed at holding down the prices of businesses they were seeking to buy.

In Bain’s biggest acquisition, the $32.1 billion purchase of the hospital giant HCA in 2006, competitors agreed privately to “stand down” and not bid on the company as part of an understanding with Bain to divvy up companies targeted for leveraged buyouts, according to internal e-mails.

The documents have become part of a lawsuit in Federal District Court in Boston brought against Bain and other firms by shareholders who say the firms’ bid-rigging artificially deflated the sales price of more than two dozen companies and cost them billions of dollars.

Bain, founded by the Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, is a defendant in the lawsuit, which also names Goldman Sachs’s private equity arm and the Blackstone Group, the firm run by the investor Stephen A. Schwarzman.

The New York Times brought a motion last month to make public the most recent allegations in the case, which were filed under court seal. In response, lawyers for Bain and the other defendants filed a heavily blacked-out version of a 217-page complaint that details evidence compiled to date in the case.

The corporate takeovers at issue in the lawsuit include the acquisition of prominent companies like Neiman Marcus, Toys “R” Us, Michaels Stores, Univision and the Loews and AMC movie chains, and they date from 2003 to 2007. The class-action shareholders’ lawsuit, which was first filed in 2007, has grown since then after a series of court rulings.

via Documents Depict Equity Firms Like Bain as Colluding – NYTimes.com.

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