Permira to hire as private equity firms criticised

Permira, the private equity firm that owns a number of UK blue-chip companies, has entered talks with PA agencies.

The search for PA support comes amid heightened concern that private equity firms are piling debt on the companies they operate and squeezing out employees.

Permira this summer acquired Unilever's frozen food business. It is also behind business travel firm Hogg Robinson and production group All3Media, and owns the AA jointly with fellow venture capitalist CVC.

General union GMB has been campaigning against job losses at the AA since it was taken over by Permira - in May it picketed the local church of the company's managing partner, Damon Buffini. An Early Day Motion tabled earlier this year accused the AA's owner of ‘greed' and ‘blatant asset stripping'.

A Permira spokesman said that the PA agency talks were ‘quite formative'.

The firm has also commissioned headhunters to recruit a communications chief.

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