Day Of The ‘Locusts’ Coming To Germany
Bugged by being characterized as “locusts,” some top private equity firms have returned to the scene of the verbal slight, namely Germany, to set the record straight – sort of.
Bugged by being characterized as “locusts,” some top private equity firms have returned to the scene of the verbal slight, namely Germany, to set the record straight – sort of. Last year Franz Munterfering, who then chaired the country’s Social Democratic Party, compared private equity firms to locusts that “fall upon companies...devour them and move on.” The comment was prompted by the news that The Blackstone Group pocketed US$3.5 billion after it had acquired Celanese, a German chemical company, and floated it on the New York Stock Exchange.
On something of a debugging mission, heavy p.e. hitters Henry Kravis of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Stephan Schwarzman of The Blackstone Group, David Rubenstein of The Carlyle Group, David Bonderman of Texas Pacific Group and Leon Black of Apollo Management have descended on the annual Super Return, a private equity conference, in Frankfurt, The New York Post reports. Kravis was expected to deliver the opening address, and the other p.e. biggies will extol the virtues of “locusts” swarming into companies, and improving their operability with the hope all this positive spin will wheel its way through the German populace.
On the other hand, what would the outside world think of this comment from Black, who told the choir of the converted that his Apollo plans to launch a campaign to rescue companies burdened with debt. “One of our mantras is to be opportunistic,” Black said. “I don’t know when the next distressed cycle is, but I see a lot of debt abuse and some of that will come back to roost.”