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Private equity firms organized limited partnerships to hold investments in which the investment professionals served as general partner and the investors, who were passive limited partners , put up the capital. Johnson, Jr. Located in Menlo Park, CA , Kleiner Perkins, Sequoia and later venture capital firms would have access to the burgeoning technology industries in the area.

By the early s, there were many semiconductor companies based in the Santa Clara Valley as well as early computer firms using their devices and programming and service companies. The NVCA was to serve as the industry trade group for the venture capital industry. During this period, the number of venture firms also increased. Venture capital played an instrumental role in developing many of the major technology companies of the s.

Some of the most notable venture capital investments were made in firms that include: Tandem Computers , Genentech , Apple Inc. Although not strictly private equity, and certainly not labeled so at the time, the first leveraged buyout may have been the purchase by Malcolm McLean 's McLean Industries, Inc. Similar to the approach employed in the McLean transaction, the use of publicly traded holding companies as investment vehicles to acquire portfolios of investments in corporate assets would become a new trend in the s popularized by the likes of Warren Buffett Berkshire Hathaway and Victor Posner DWG Corporation and later adopted by Nelson Peltz Triarc , Saul Steinberg Reliance Insurance and Gerry Schwartz Onex Corporation.

These investment vehicles would utilize a number of the same tactics and target the same type of companies as more traditional leveraged buyouts and in many ways could be considered a forerunner of the later private equity firms. In fact, it is Posner who is often credited with coining the term "leveraged buyout" or "LBO" [13]. Posner, who had made a fortune in real estate investments in the s and s acquired a major stake in DWG Corporation in Having gained control of the company, he used it as an investment vehicle that could execute takeovers of other companies.

Posner and DWG are perhaps best known for the hostile takeover of Sharon Steel Corporation in , one of the earliest such takeovers in the United States. Posner's investments were typically motivated by attractive valuations, balance sheets and cash flow characteristics. Because of its high debt load, Posner's DWG would generate attractive but highly volatile returns and would ultimately land the company in financial difficulty. In , Sharon Steel sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Warren Buffett , who is typically described as a stock market investor rather than a private equity investor, employed many of the same techniques in the creation on his Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate as Posner's DWG Corporation and in later years by more traditional private equity investors.

In , with the support of the company's board of directors , Buffett assumed control of Berkshire Hathaway. Buffett's value investing approach and focus on earnings and cash flows are characteristic of later private equity investors.

Buffett would distinguish himself relative to more traditional leveraged buyout practitioners through his reluctance to use leverage and hostile techniques in his investments. Lewis Cullman's acquisition of Orkin Exterminating Company in is among the first significant leveraged buyout transactions. Working for Bear Stearns at the time, Kohlberg and Kravis along with Kravis' cousin George Roberts began a series of what they described as "bootstrap" investments. They targeted family-owned businesses, many of which had been founded in the years following World War II and by the s and s were facing succession issues.

Many of these companies lacked a viable or attractive exit for their founders as they were too small to be taken public and the founders were reluctant to sell out to competitors, making a sale to a financial buyer potentially attractive. Their acquisition of in is among the first significant leveraged buyout transactions. By , tensions had built up between Bear Stearns and Kohlberg, Kravis and Roberts leading to their departure and the formation of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts in that year.

Most notably, Bear Stearns executive Cy Lewis had rejected repeated proposals to form a dedicated investment fund within Bear Stearns and Lewis took exception to the amount of time spent on outside activities. It was by far the largest take-private at the time. In , Thomas H. Lee founded a new investment firm to focus on acquiring companies through leveraged buyout transactions, one of the earliest independent private equity firms to focus on leveraged buyouts of more mature companies rather than venture capital investments in growth companies.

Lee's firm, Thomas H. Lee Partners , while initially generating less fanfare than other entrants in the s, would emerge as one of the largest private equity firms globally by the end of the s. The second half of the s and the first years of the s saw the emergence of several private equity firms that would survive the various cycles both in leveraged buyouts and venture capital.

Management buyouts also came into existence in the late s and early s. One of the most notable early management buyout transactions was the acquisition of Harley-Davidson. A group of managers at Harley-Davidson, the motorcycle manufacturer, bought the company from AMF in a leveraged buyout in , but racked up big losses the following year and had to ask for protection from Japanese competitors.

The advent of the boom in leveraged buyouts in the s was supported by three major legal and regulatory events:. In the years that would follow these events, private equity would experience its first major boom, acquiring some of the famed brands and major industrial powers of American business.

The decade of the s is perhaps more closely associated with the leveraged buyout than any decade before or since. For the first time, the public became aware of the ability of private equity to affect mainstream companies and "corporate raiders" and "hostile takeovers" entered the public consciousness. The decade would see one of the largest booms in private equity culminating in the leveraged buyout of RJR Nabisco , which would reign as the largest leveraged buyout transaction for nearly 17 years.

The beginning of the first boom period in private equity would be marked by the well-publicized success of the Gibson Greetings acquisition in and would roar ahead through and with the soaring stock market driving profitable exits for private equity investors. Simon , Ray Chambers and a group of investors, which would later come to be known as Wesray Capital Corporation , acquired Gibson Greetings , a producer of greeting cards.

The success of the Gibson Greetings investment attracted the attention of the wider media to the nascent boom in leveraged buyouts. Because of the high leverage on many of the transactions of the s, failed deals occurred regularly, however the promise of attractive returns on successful investments attracted more capital.

With the increased leveraged buyout activity and investor interest, the mids saw a major proliferation of private equity firms. As the market developed, new niches within the private equity industry began to emerge. In , Venture Capital Fund of America, the first private equity firm focused on acquiring secondary market interests in existing private equity funds was founded and then, two years later in , First Reserve Corporation , the first private equity firm focused on the energy sector, was founded.

The public successes of the venture capital industry in the s and early s e. From just a few dozen firms at the start of the decade, there were over firms by the end of the s, each searching for the next major "home run". The growth the industry was hampered by sharply declining returns and certain venture firms began posting losses for the first time.

In addition to the increased competition among firms, several other factors impacted returns. The market for initial public offerings cooled in the mids before collapsing after the stock market crash in and foreign corporations, particularly from Japan and Korea, flooded early stage companies with capital.

In response to the changing conditions, corporations that had sponsored in-house venture investment arms, including General Electric and Paine Webber either sold off or closed these venture capital units. Even industry founders J. Whitney's investment in Prime proved to be nearly a total loss with the bulk of the proceeds from the company's liquidation paid to the company's creditors.

Although lower profile than their buyout counterparts, new leading venture capital firms were also formed including Draper Fisher Jurvetson originally Draper Associates in and Canaan Partners in among others. Although buyout firms generally had different aims and methods, they were often lumped in with the "corporate raiders" who came on the scene in the s. The raiders were best known for hostile bids—takeover attempts that were opposed by management.

By contrast, private equity firms generally attempted to strike deals with boards and CEOs, though in many cases in the s they allied with managements that were already under pressure from raiders. But both groups bought companies through leveraged buyouts; both relied heavily on junk bond financing; and under both types of owners in many cases major assets were sold, costs were slashed and employees were laid off.

Hence, in the public mind, they were lumped together. Management of many large publicly traded corporations reacted negatively to the threat of potential hostile takeover or corporate raid and pursued drastic defensive measures including poison pills , golden parachutes and increasing debt levels on the company's balance sheet.

The threat of the corporate raid would lead to the practice of " greenmail ", where a corporate raider or other party would acquire a significant stake in the stock of a company and receive an incentive payment effectively a bribe from the company in order to avoid pursuing a hostile takeover of the company. Greenmail represented a transfer payment from a company's existing shareholders to a third party investor and provided no value to existing shareholders but did benefit existing managers.

The practice of "greenmail" is not typically considered a tactic of private equity investors and is not condoned by market participants. Bass , T. Carl Icahn developed a reputation as a ruthless corporate raider after his hostile takeover of TWA in Many of the corporate raiders were onetime clients of Michael Milken , whose investment banking firm Drexel Burnham Lambert helped raise blind pools of capital with which corporate raiders could make a legitimate attempt to take over a company and provided high-yield debt financing of the buyouts.

As of December 31, , Perelman still retains a minority ownership interest in Revlon. The Revlon takeover, because of its well-known brand, was profiled widely by the media and brought new attention to the emerging boom in leveraged buyout activity. In later years, Milken and Drexel would shy away from certain of the more "notorious" corporate raiders as Drexel and the private equity industry attempted to move upscale.

Leveraged buyouts in the s including Perelman's takeover of Revlon came to epitomize the "ruthless capitalism" and "greed" popularly seen to be pervading Wall Street at the time. One of the final major buyouts of the s proved to be its most ambitious and marked both a high-water mark and a sign of the beginning of the end of the boom that had begun nearly a decade earlier.

It was, at that time and for over 17 years, the largest leverage buyout in history. Many of the major banking players of the day, including Morgan Stanley , Goldman Sachs , Salomon Brothers , and Merrill Lynch were actively involved in advising and financing the parties.

Many in RJR's board of directors had grown concerned at recent disclosures of Ross Johnson' unprecedented golden parachute deal. Has the buyout craze gone too far? In and , a number of leveraged buyout transactions were completed that for the first time surpassed the RJR Nabisco leveraged buyout in terms of nominal purchase price. However, adjusted for inflation, none of the leveraged buyouts of the — period would surpass RJR Nabisco.

Unfortunately for KKR, size would not equate with success as the high purchase price and debt load would burden the performance of the investment. Two years earlier, in , Jerome Kohlberg, Jr. Kohlberg did not favor the larger buyouts including Beatrice Companies and Safeway and would later likely have included the takeover of RJR Nabisco , highly leveraged transactions or hostile takeovers being pursued increasingly by KKR. The case was later settled out of court.

Kohlberg, at the time a KKR executive. By the end of the s the excesses of the buyout market were beginning to show, with the bankruptcy of several large buyouts including Robert Campeau 's buyout of Federated Department Stores , the buyout of the Revco drug stores, Walter Industries, FEB Trucking and Eaton Leonard. Drexel Burnham Lambert was the investment bank most responsible for the boom in private equity during the s due to its leadership in the issuance of high-yield debt.

The firm was first rocked by scandal on May 12, , when Dennis Levine , a Drexel managing director and investment banker, was charged with insider trading. Levine pleaded guilty to four felonies, and implicated one of his recent partners, arbitrageur Ivan Boesky. Largely based on information Boesky promised to provide about his dealings with Milken, the Securities and Exchange Commission initiated an investigation of Drexel on November For two years, Drexel steadfastly denied any wrongdoing, claiming that the criminal and SEC cases were based almost entirely on the statements of an admitted felon looking to reduce his sentence.

However, it was not enough to keep the SEC from suing Drexel in September for insider trading, stock manipulation, defrauding its clients and stock parking buying stocks for the benefit of another. All of the transactions involved Milken and his department. Giuliani began seriously considering indicting Drexel under the powerful Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act RICO , under the doctrine that companies are responsible for an employee's crimes.

Most of Drexel's capital was borrowed money, as is common with most investment banks and it is difficult to receive credit for firms under a RICO indictment. With literally minutes to go before being indicted, Drexel reached an agreement with the government in which it pleaded nolo contendere no contest to six felonies — three counts of stock parking and three counts of stock manipulation.

Milken left the firm after his own indictment in March In April , Drexel settled with the SEC, agreeing to stricter safeguards on its oversight procedures. Later that month, the firm eliminated 5, jobs by shuttering three departments — including the retail brokerage operation. The high-yield debt markets had begun to shut down in , a slowdown that accelerated into Brady , the U. In the s, the boom in private equity transactions, specifically leveraged buyouts, was driven by the availability of financing, particularly high-yield debt , also known as " junk bonds ".

The collapse of the high yield market in and would signal the end of the LBO boom. Despite the adverse market conditions, several of the largest private equity firms were founded in this period including: Apollo Management , Madison Dearborn and TPG Capital. Beginning roughly in , three years after the RJR Nabisco buyout, and continuing through the end of the decade the private equity industry once again experienced a tremendous boom, both in venture capital as will be discussed below and leveraged buyouts with the emergence of brand name firms managing multibillion-dollar sized funds.

Private equity in the s was a controversial topic, commonly associated with corporate raids , hostile takeovers , asset stripping , layoffs, plant closings and outsized profits to investors. As private equity reemerged in the s it began to earn a new degree of legitimacy and respectability. Although in the s, many of the acquisitions made were unsolicited and unwelcome, private equity firms in the s focused on making buyouts attractive propositions for management and shareholders.

Private equity firms are more likely to make investments in capital expenditures and provide incentives for management to build long-term value. The Thomas H. Lee Partners acquisition of Snapple Beverages , in , is often described as the deal that marked the resurrection of the leveraged buyout after several dormant years.

As a result of the Snapple deal, Thomas H. Lee, who had begun investing in private equity in , would find new prominence in the private equity industry and catapult his Boston-based Thomas H. Lee Partners to the ranks of the largest private equity firms.

It was also in this time that the capital markets would start to open up again for private equity transactions. During the — period, Chemical Bank established its position as a key lender to private equity firms under the auspices of pioneering investment banker, James B. Lee, Jr. By the mids, under Jimmy Lee, Chemical had established itself as the largest lender in the financing of leveraged buyouts. Lee built a syndicated leveraged finance business and related advisory businesses including the first dedicated financial sponsor coverage group, which covered private equity firms in much the same way that investment banks had traditionally covered various industry sectors.

TPG was virtually alone in its conviction that there was an investment opportunity with the airline. The plan included bringing in a new management team, improving aircraft utilization and focusing on lucrative routes. Unlike Carl Icahn 's hostile takeover of TWA in , [34] Bonderman and Texas Pacific Group were widely hailed as saviors of the airline, marking the change in tone from the s.

The buyout of Continental Airlines would be one of the few successes for the private equity industry which has suffered several major failures, including the bankruptcies of ATA Airlines , Aloha Airlines and Eos Airlines. As the market for private equity matured, so too did its investor base. The Institutional Limited Partner Association was initially founded as an informal networking group for limited partner investors in private equity funds in the early s.

However the organization would evolve into an advocacy organization for private equity investors with more than member organizations from 10 countries. In the s, FedEx and Apple Inc. After a shakeout of venture capital managers, the more successful firms retrenched, focusing increasingly on improving operations at their portfolio companies rather than continuously making new investments.

Results would begin to turn very attractive, successful and would ultimately generate the venture capital boom of the s. Former Wharton Professor Andrew Metrick refers to these first 15 years of the modern venture capital industry beginning in as the "pre-boom period" in anticipation of the boom that would begin in and last through the bursting of the Internet bubble in The late s were a boom time for the venture capital, as firms on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park and Silicon Valley benefited from a huge surge of interest in the nascent Internet and other computer technologies.

Initial public offerings of stock for technology and other growth companies were in abundance and venture firms were reaping large windfalls. Among the highest profile technology companies with venture capital backing were Amazon. The Nasdaq crash and technology slump that started in March shook virtually the entire venture capital industry as valuations for startup technology companies collapsed. Over the next two years, many venture firms had been forced to write-off large proportions of their investments and many funds were significantly " under water " the values of the fund's investments were below the amount of capital invested.

Venture capital investors sought to reduce size of commitments they had made to venture capital funds and in numerous instances, investors sought to unload existing commitments for cents on the dollar in the secondary market. By mid, the venture capital industry had shriveled to about half its capacity. Nevertheless, PricewaterhouseCoopers' MoneyTree Survey shows that total venture capital investments held steady at levels through the second quarter of Although the post-boom years represent just a small fraction of the peak levels of venture investment reached in , they still represent an increase over the levels of investment from through As a percentage of GDP, venture investment was 0.

The revival of an Internet -driven environment thanks to deals such as eBay 's purchase of Skype , the News Corporation 's purchase of MySpace. However, as a percentage of the overall private equity market, venture capital has still not reached its mids level, let alone its peak in As the venture sector collapsed, the activity in the leveraged buyout market also declined significantly. Leveraged buyout firms had invested heavily in the telecommunications sector from to and profited from the boom which suddenly fizzled in In that year at least 27 major telecommunications companies, i.

Telecommunications, which made up a large portion of the overall high yield universe of issuers, dragged down the entire high yield market. Overall corporate default rates surged to levels unseen since the market collapse rising to 6. Default rates on junk bonds peaked at In addition to the high rate of default, many investors lamented the low recovery rates achieved through restructuring or bankruptcy. These firms were often cited as the highest profile private equity casualties, having invested heavily in technology and telecommunications companies.

Deals completed during this period tended to be smaller and financed less with high yield debt than in other periods. Private equity firms had to cobble together financing made up of bank loans and mezzanine debt, often with higher equity contributions than had been seen. Private equity firms benefited from the lower valuation multiples. As a result, despite the relatively limited activity, those funds that invested during the adverse market conditions delivered attractive returns to investors.

In Europe LBO activity began to increase as the market continued to mature. As investors sought to reduce their exposure to the private equity asset class, an area of private equity that was increasingly active in these years was the nascent secondary market for private equity interests.

As ended and began, the private equity sector, which had spent the previous two and a half years reeling from major losses in telecommunications and technology companies and had been severely constrained by tight credit markets. As got underway, private equity began a five-year resurgence that would ultimately result in the completion of 13 of the 15 largest leveraged buyout transactions in history, unprecedented levels of investment activity and investor commitments and a major expansion and maturation of the leading private equity firms.

The combination of decreasing interest rates, loosening lending standards and regulatory changes for publicly traded companies would set the stage for the largest boom private equity had seen. The Sarbanes Oxley legislation, officially the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act, passed in , in the wake of corporate scandals at Enron , WorldCom , Tyco , Adelphia , Peregrine Systems and Global Crossing among others, would create a new regime of rules and regulations for publicly traded corporations.

In addition to the existing focus on short term earnings rather than long term value creation, many public company executives lamented the extra cost and bureaucracy associated with Sarbanes-Oxley compliance. For the first time, many large corporations saw private equity ownership as potentially more attractive than remaining public.

Sarbanes-Oxley would have the opposite effect on the venture capital industry. The increased compliance costs would make it nearly impossible for venture capitalists to bring young companies to the public markets and dramatically reduced the opportunities for exits via IPO. Instead, venture capitalists have been forced increasingly to rely on sales to strategic buyers for an exit of their investment. Interest rates, which began a major series of decreases in would reduce the cost of borrowing and increase the ability of private equity firms to finance large acquisitions.

Lower interest rates would encourage investors to return to relatively dormant high-yield debt and leveraged loan markets, making debt more readily available to finance buyouts. Alternative investments also became increasingly important as investors focused on yields despite increases in risk. This search for higher yielding investments would fuel larger funds, allowing larger deals, never before thought possible, to become reality.

Certain buyouts were completed in and early , particularly in Europe where financing was more readily available. Marked by the two-stage buyout of Dex Media at the end of and , large multibillion-dollar U. The buyout was the third largest corporate buyout since Donnelley Corporation acquired Dex Media in Shortly after Dex Media, other larger buyouts would be completed signaling the resurgence in private equity was underway.

In USA Today reported retrospectively on the revival of private equity: [77]. By and , major buyouts were once again becoming common and market observers were stunned by the leverage levels and financing terms obtained by financial sponsors in their buyouts. As ended and began, new "largest buyout" records were set and surpassed several times with nine of the top ten buyouts at the end of having been announced in an month window from the beginning of through the middle of The buyout boom was not limited to the United States as industrialized countries in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region also saw new records set.

In , private equity firms bought U. Although there had previously been certain instances of publicly traded private equity vehicles, the convergence of private equity and the public equity markets attracted significantly greater attention when several of the largest private equity firms pursued various options through the public markets. Taking private equity firms and private equity funds public appeared an unusual move since private equity funds often buy public companies listed on exchange and then take them private.

Private equity firms are rarely subject to the quarterly reporting requirements of the public markets and tout this independence to prospective sellers as a key advantage of going private. The complaint alleged that BP failed to properly inspect and maintain underground tanks used to store gasoline for retail sale at approximately gas stations in California over a period of ten years and violated other hazardous material and hazardous waste laws.

The case settled in November and was the result of collaboration among the California Attorney General's Office and several district attorney's offices across the state. After burning for two days, the rig sank. The well was finally capped on 15 July The spill had a strong economic impact on the Gulf Coast 's economy sectors such as fishing and tourism. Oil spill caused damages across a range of species and habitats in the Gulf.

Effects on different populations consist of increased mortality or as sub-lethal impairment on the organisms' ability to forage, reproduce and avoid predators. BP said the report was "inconclusive as to any causation associated with the spill. Studies in suggested that as much as one-third of the released oil remains in the gulf. Further research suggested that the oil on the bottom of the seafloor was not degrading. Researchers looking at sediment, seawater, biota, and seafood found toxic compounds in high concentrations that they said was due to the added oil and dispersants.

The study found that even very low concentrations of crude oil can slow the pace of fish heartbeats. BP responded that the concentrations of oil in the study were a level rarely seen in the Gulf, but The New York Times reported that the BP statement was contradicted by the study. Research discussed at a conference included preliminary results of an ongoing study being done by the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences indicating that oil spill cleanup workers carry biomarkers of chemicals contained in the spilled oil and the dispersants used.

Several studies found that a "significant percentage" of Gulf residents reported mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and PTSD. Australia's 60 Minutes reported that people living along the gulf coast were becoming sick from the mixture of Corexit and oil.

The safety manuals read: "Avoid breathing vapor" and "Wear suitable protective clothing. A peer-reviewed study published in The American Journal of Medicine reported significantly altered blood profiles of individuals exposed to the spilled oil and dispersants that put them at increased risk of developing liver cancer, leukemia and other disorders.

In , a study was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences which found heart deformities in fish exposed to oil from the spill. The researchers said that their results probably apply to humans as well as fish. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

District Judge Carl Barbier. Judge Barbier ruled in the first phase of the case that BP had committed gross negligence and that "its employees took risks that led to the largest environmental disaster in U. Barbier ruled that BP was "reckless" and had acted with "conscious disregard of known risks. BP lobbied the British government to conclude a prisoner-transfer agreement which the Libyan government had wanted to secure the release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi , the only person convicted for the Lockerbie bombing over Scotland, which killed people.

In February , BP's then-chief executive, Lord Browne of Madingley , renounced the practice of corporate campaign contributions , saying: "That's why we've decided, as a global policy, that from now on we will make no political contributions from corporate funds anywhere in the world. During the U. In , IPC offered financial support to raise an armed force that would assist the Sultan in occupying the interior region of Oman, an area that geologists believed to be rich in oil.

This led to the outbreak of Jebel Akhdar War in Oman that lasted for more than 5 years. These charges were dismissed by a US District Court in on the grounds that the transactions were exempt under the Commodities Exchange Act because they didn't occur in a marketplace but were negotiated contracts among sophisticated companies.

The dismissal was upheld by the Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in The investigation relates to trading activity that occurred in October and November BP denied that it engaged in "any inappropriate or unlawful activity. In May , the European Commission started an investigation into allegations the companies reported distorted prices to the price reporting agency Platts , in order to "manipulate the published prices" for several oil and biofuel products. Documents from a bid to drill in the Great Australian Bight revealed claims by BP that a large-scale cleanup operation following a massive oil spill would bring a "welcome boost to local economies.

An internal email from mid was leaked in April in New Zealand. The email laid out that pricing was to be raised at certain sites in a region around Otaki in order to regain volume lost at that branch. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the energy company.

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