Seven well-chosen private equity case studies

Book review: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Private Equity Anybody wanting to know more about the private equity industry should find something that appeals in Sebastien Canderle's book.



The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Private EquitySuccess and Failure in Buyout LandSebastien CanderleCreateSpace, £12.99Buy on Amazon

Private-equity deals have an image problem. Critics claim that funds load companies up with debt, squeeze all the value out of them, and then sell up and move on, leaving others to pick up the pieces. The industry insists that its success depends on making genuine improvements at the companies it invests in.

Subscribe to MoneyWeek

Become a smarter, better informed investor with MoneyWeek.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Private Equity: Success and Failure in Buyout Land, by Sebastien Canderle, appraises seven high-profile deals, including Blackstone's purchase of Hilton Hotels, which eventually paid off for Blackstone, the purchase of Toys "R" US in 2005 by a consortium led by KKR and Bain Capital, which ended in bankruptcy and the closure of most of the stores last year, and Philip Green's acquisition of BHS, which ended in disaster for his reputation and the livelihoods of both staff and pensioners.

The case studies are well-chosen. At times, however, the emphasis on the financial architecture of a deal obscures the wider issue of whether the private-equity owners improved or worsened the firm's operational performance. Still, those employed in the industry, potential investors intrigued by private-equity funds, and general readers simply wishing to know more about the industry, should all find something that appeals in this book.




Theatre review: The Visit

Friedrich Dürrenmatt's Swiss classic The Visit, transported to 1950s America, poses the question: how much would you kill for?
28 Feb 2020

Six contrarian books for Christmas

Merryn Somerset Webb picks six of her favourite contrarian books to help you look clever and perhaps win a few arguments over the Christmas dinner tab…
9 Dec 2019

Coming to terms with Anna Sorokin

My Friend Anna: The true story of the fake heiress of New York CityWilliams is a solid writer who does a good job of explaining how she, and other int…
21 Aug 2019

Book in the news… the inside story of Spain’s tumultuous crisis

After the Fall Crisis, Recovery and the Making of a New SpainA book that goes beyond politics to offer a deeply sympathetic portrayal of a country.
21 Aug 2019

Most Popular


What does the coronavirus crisis mean for UK house prices?

With the whole country in lockdown, the UK property market is closed for business. John Stepek looks at what that means for UK house prices, housebuil…
27 Mar 2020
UK Economy

The UK’s bailout of the self employed comes with a hidden catch

The chancellor’s £6.5bn bailout of the self employed is welcome. But it has hidden benefits for the taxman, says Merryn Somerset Webb.
27 Mar 2020

Gold is hard to find right now – so should you be buying?

With demand through the roof and the physical metal hard to find, it's not the best time to buy gold. But right now, says Dominic Frisby, you want to …
25 Mar 2020
Share tips

Share tips of the week

MoneyWeek’s comprehensive guide to the best of this week’s share tips from the rest of the UK's financial pages.
27 Mar 2020