British firms worth £36billion have been sold off to private equity in a high-risk ‘pandemic plundering’ spree.
The Daily Mail can reveal today that 123 UK companies have been bought up by the predators since the outbreak of coronavirus, with 19 more deals worth nearly £16.6billion in the pipeline.
It means the value of private equity takeovers since the start of last year is set to hit a staggering £52.6billion. Data firm Dealogic says the number of firms swallowed up in private equity deals last year is the highest since the financial crisis 13 years ago.
Household names to succumb range from Asda to the AA and even the owner of Butlin’s. The Mail today sets out the scale of the assault on British business and examines the risks it poses for jobs, pensions, taxpayers and the wider economy. Described by their critics as vulture capitalists, the private equity barons from the City and Wall Street have now made inroads into almost every field of commerce in this country.
Whilst some ventures have been successful and created employment and growth, their financing model relies heavily on debt – and critics argue that is inherently high risk. Private equity has already bought up firms that employ around one million Britons, and their jobs and pensions could be in peril if the debt-fuelled buyout deals go sour.