Private Equity: Steve Pagliuca Rebuts Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders

January 28, 2020 | Investments, Private Equity
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The Bain Capital chief touts private equity’s role in the U.S. economy.  

Steve Pagliuca, the co-chairman of Bain Capital, refuted claims made by Democratic frontrunners about the role of private equity. During the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Pagliuca touted the role of Bain in job creation. The co-chairman said that firms purchased by Bain have grown revenue two times faster than the S&P 500 companies.

These firms have also created 1.1 million new jobs since Bain purchased them.

“What the misinformation is is that private equity comes in there and cuts costs, actually you don’t make any money when you cut costs in an era where multiples are high. People want to buy growth businesses, there is not a lot of multiple expansion left. So you have to fundamentally grow the businesses. So that’s really counter to what is being said out there,” he told Yahoo! Finance.

Steve Pagliuca Vs. Warren/Sanders

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has used private equity as a punching bag on the campaign trail. She has pushed the Stop Wall Street Looting Act as a potential overhaul of the entire industry.

Sanders has said that the U.S. government should ban private equity firms from owning hospitals. He also backed Deadspin in its spat against private equity owner G/O Media.

Pagluica was active in defending the industry during the World Economic Forum. “Private equity is not about cost-cutting. It’s about growth,” he told CNBC.

“No one wants to buy a company that is shrinking, so we spend all of our time thinking, ‘How do we grow companies? How do we do more R&D? How do we invest in new products?’” he continued.

While Sanders and Warren have pointed to the bankruptcy of Toys R Us and Payless as examples of bad PE deals. However, Bain Capital has experienced several success stories. For example, Bain purchased 70% of Canada Goose in 2013 when it carried a valuation of $250 million. Following the IPO, the firm had a valuation of $1.5 billion, a figure that has since grown to roughly $3.5 billion. Bain is also investing $350 million into a new company that develops central nervous system drugs from Pfizer.

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