Four mega-firms to form lobbying group

Carlyle, Blackstone, KKR and TPG are in preliminary talks on forming a trade group for buyout firms.

Four of the biggest US-headquartered private equity firms are in preliminary discussions on forming a lobbying group in Washington, DC to represent their interests, a source close to the discussions said.

The Carlyle Group, The Blackstone Group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Texas Pacific Group are formulating a plan for creating a group to represent the interests of buyout firms with the US government, as well as with regulatory bodies and foreign governments. The source said the talks are still in the very early stages and the group has not yet decided what type of private equity firms it will represent. While it could restrict itself to issues affecting the largest buyout firms, it could also represent private equity GPs of all sizes.

“The discussion is still at a very preliminary stage,” the source said. “There have been several organisational meetings, and they are thinking through the structure, the mission and the scope of the organisation. There are still many questions that need to be addressed.”

A possible name for the group could be the International Private Equity Association. The trade group would probably work on many of the same issues as the National Venture Capital Association – the trade group that represents the interests of US venture capital firms, but would also have its own set of issues that would only affect buyout funds.

The source added that the group would also work with foreign governments, an audience with whom private equity firms typically face many challenges.