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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