If anyone was still in any doubt about the kind of people who inhabit the private equity industry, just look at the latest shenanigans from Kohlberg Kravis and Roberts (KKR).
KKR bought NXP in 2006, loaded it up with $6 billion of debt, initiated a period of factory closures, lay-offs, sale of the wireless and home business units and general despondency among employees.
Then KKR, having wreaked its havoc, announced last month it would jettison some of its responsibility for NXP via an IPO.
Deutsche Bank was to be lead underwriter for the IPO and was asked by KKR to renew a $60 million loan it had made to NXP.
No, said Deutsche Bank. Then KKR boss Henry Kravis range Deutsche Bank and asked them, again, to renew. Again Deutsche Bank said No.
So KKR removed Deutsche Bank as lead underwriter.
Deutsche Bank’s bankers were furious, according to the New York Post, arguing that they’d have made more in fees from the underwriting than they could have lost with the loan.
Apparently some Deutsche Bank bankers threatened to resign and go to UBS.
The Post quoted a source who said:: ‘KKR did what KKR does – the guy who provides the outrageous loan gets the underwriting slot’.
These are the sort of people who have brought despair to NXP’s employees, dismemberment to a fine company, and have given the finger to European taxpayers who have funded much NXP R&D over the years.
The bankers are as bad as the private equity people – squabbling for fees as an admirable organisation like NXP is pushed into the mire.
The story tells us this: Have nothing to do with these bloody awful private equity people – they have nothing to offer but misery.