Friday, 3 August 2007

Private equity funds could be forced to disclose job cut plans

I should have really blogged about this a couple of days back. The FT reported that the Walker review into the transparency of the private equity industry could go further than previously thought. Although Sir David Walker who chairs the review is pushing a voluntary approach, the very idea that he suggests that buy-outs might disclose plans for job cuts really does take the debate to a new level. Make no mistake, the industry will hate this. But if we are talking about private equity wanting to play a major economic role (running large companies like Boots) they probably aren't going to have much of a choice.

Here's a bit from the FT earlier in the week:

Sir David said the feedback received so far had convinced him of the need for a "model template" of the exact information private equity firms should publish whenever they announce a buy-out deal.

He suggested the template would include details of how the transaction will be financed, the strategy behind the deal, including any factory closures or job cuts, as well as a description of who will take over as management and board members.

"I think an employee in all these situations has a justifiable interest to know 'is my job security materially diminished as a result of this?' I think that is a fair question," said Sir David.

While unions may welcome the proposals, some private equity executives are expected to shudder at having to announce their strategy and planned staff changes for every deal.

Meanwhile today the FT reports that buy-out activity will dry up for months because of current global wobbles over debt exposure.

Just to remind anyone who wasn't listening at the back, this stems frome concern about the sub-prime market in the US. This is basically the low-income bit of the market with poor credit history. An interesting reminder of how interconnected we all are these days through our financial assets. Working people defaulting on mortgage payments in the US can affect how well your pension does in the UK, or how likely your employer is to be taken over by a private equity firm. That's precisely why the Left needs to get its head around capital markets. RANT RANT RANT!!!

No comments: