Private Equity: Leon Black Talks Aramark, the U.S. Economy, and the Feds

April 14, 2020 | News, Private Equity

Leon Black made a rare appearance in the media yesterday.

The co-founder of alternative asset manager Apollo Global Management (NYSE: APO) appeared on CNBC along with Aramark (ARMK) CEO John Zillmer. During the conversation, the two discussed their NYC Health Heroes program. Aramark, the world’s largest U.S.-based provider of food, facilities, and uniforms, partnered with Mr. Black’s family foundation. They are supporting the effort of more than 100,000 New York City healthcare professionals combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leon Black on COVID-19

The Black Family has committed $20 million, including an initial $10 million donation and plans to match any additional donations up to $10 million, bringing the total possible raise to at least $30 million. The initial donation will be made to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, and Robin Hood will manage the receipt of matching 501(c)(3) donations. The program, launched in partnership with the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, Robin Hood, New York City’s largest poverty-fighting organization, and the American Red Cross.

It will provide at least 300,000 and up to 500,000 packages of shelf-stable food, household cleaning, and personal care products. It will also offer over-the-counter medicine to hospital staff. Aramark is donating labor to provide procurement, assembly, and delivery services.

Mr. Black also discussed his firm and the economy during his appearance. He told the network that “The last few weeks have shown us the benefit of Apollo’s value-oriented approach, which has always emphasized downside protection and less leverage use and also to really be able to navigate cycles. And clearly, the first and foremost thing we do is protect our own portfolio for our investors, but because we have a very strong balance sheet and a lot of dry powder, we also try to be opportunistic.”

He also thinks the Federal Government has done a very good job getting financial relief to individuals and businesses. Mr. Black said that his firm is looking at opportunities in beaten-down sectors like insurance and leisure.

Related: Leon Cooperman: Stop Vilifying Billionaires

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