Bonanzas in private equity world spark call for tax relief limit

Bonanzas in private equity world spark call for tax relief limit

Welcome to the world of private equity, also known as the “billionaire factory”, where already super-rich firms have used low interest rates and their considerable financial firepower to embark on a multi-billion dollar buying spree this year. Mere mortals were this week given a rare glimpse inside the money-spinning and highly secretive private equity industry – which buys up companies, often using more debt than stockmarket investors would tolerate, then floats or sells them on again – as the London firm Bridgepoint floated on the stock market. The float left 166 of Bridgepoint’s employees sitting on a combined £2.5bn windfall. The firm’s executive chairman, William Jackson, sold £7.8m worth of shares, and hung on to a stake worth about £42m. Frédéric Pescatori, Bridgepoint’s head in France and southern Europe, cashed in about £16.5m and still had shares worth almost £85m. The finance chief, Adam Jones, sold £4m worth but retained shares worth £22.8m, following the stock’s 29% surge on its debut on Wednesday. Bridgepoint also extended its largesse to well-known City figures persuaded to join the board. Archie Norman, chairman …
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