WHAT THE PAPERS SAY: Permira boss left to defend PE solo

Damon Buffini, managing partner of private equity group Permira, spoke out in defence of his firm and his industry last week.

Why? To calm ‘the growing political storm’ over the role of this ‘burgeoning but secretive industry’ (The Guardian, 23 Feb).

Under sustained pressure from the GMB union, which is unhappy at Permira’s stewardship of businesses such as the AA, Buffini gave rare interviews ‘to set the record straight’ (The Sunday Times, 25 Feb).

Buffini faced allegations that private equity investment amounted to little more than ‘blatant asset stripping’ (Gwyn Prosser MP, The Independent, 17 Feb). Undeterred, Buffini asserted: ‘There is a positive story about productivity and job creation.’ Though he admitted: ‘Those messages have not gotten through’ (The Guardian, 23 Feb).

Despite apparent support from The Daily Telegraph – which said unions ‘are to prosperity what Aids is to free love’ (24 Feb) – Buffini was left to run ‘a one-man crusade to defend his industry’ (The Sunday Times, 25 February).

Likewise, the Financial Times noted that the other leaders of the PE industry had left Buffini ‘hanging out there to dry’ (23 February).

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow.

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