‘The Brats have been getting much sharper since Bob joined the Supervisory Board,’ notes Ed, referring to the twenty-something year-old super-sharpies who monitor his company’s performance for its private equity owners and his erstwhile best friend Bob, who was sacked by Ed and then appointed by the PE people to the Supervisory Board.
“They’re asking about returns from disties which have been covered up, unusual ordering patterns, unexplained payments – nasty stuff that I have to find people to take the blame for. But all the time it gets closer to me,’ writes Ed.
‘Unfortunately Bob knows where the bodies are buried, he hates me and he’s on the board. That makes a powerful enemy. I’ve got to get him out of the way, and I think I know how.’
Next day, the diary entry reads:
‘Today is the day I start the evisceration of Bob’s credibility with our owners. I get on the phone to A Brat.’
‘”Remember that deal you did back before the credit crunch when you bought that German semiconductor company Lindenwerks?”‘
‘”Ouch,” replied The Brat, “don’t I just”.’
‘”You overpaid by 50% and put up a couple of billion of your own money instead of leveraging the whole deal. And you’ve written that investment down 90%. Remember?”‘
‘”Vividly”, replied The Brat, “it’s like kind of a running sore here”.’
‘”Who authored the key report which persuaded your M&A people to do the deal?”‘
‘”Haven’t a clue. I don’t talk to the M&A people,” replied The Brat.’
‘”Take a look,” I told him, “you’ll find it’s someone freshly on your payroll. And take a look at a payment of €1 million to him from Lindenwerks just before the deal went through. The Lindenwerks CEO made a killing on that deal. He was desperate to get it through. That report clinched it”.’
‘”Bob?” asked The Brat.’
‘”I didn’t tell you that,” I said.’
‘The first nail in Bob’s coffin has been hammered in,’ Ed confides to his diary, ‘roll on my $25 mill.’