Documents Suggest PE Firms Colluded on Bids (NY Times)

Firms are accused of divvying up companies to target for buyouts.

According to internal emails and other documents that are part of a lawsuit, Bain Capital and other private equity firms may have colluded to limit the prices of the companies they sought to buy, according to an article in the New York Times. For example, in Bain’s 2006 purchase of HCA for $32.1 billion, its competitors agreed not to bid on the company as part of a broader arrangement to divide among themselves the companies targeted for buyouts.

The documents are part of a lawsuit by shareholders who say the PE firms’ practices cost them billions of dollars. The lawsuit covers acquisitions that occurred between 2003 and 2007, involving companies including Neiman Marcus, Toys “R” Us and Michaels Stores.


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