G8 protesters to target private equity

Blackstone, Lion and Carlyle are among 100 listed targets of anti-capitalist demonstrators planning to gather in London ahead of the G8 summit in June.

A number of private equity firms with London offices are listed on an “action map” to be used by a group of protesters demonstrating against capitalism on 11 June.   

The group, Stop G8, plan to demonstrate in Great Britain’s financial capital ahead of the G8 summit on June 17 and 18 in Northern Ireland.

The London offices of Altima Partners, The Blackstone Group, The Carlyle Group, Emergent Asset Management, Hermitage Capital and Lion Capital were part of 100 addresses identified by protestors as “locations in the West End connected to blatant murder, oppression and exploitation”.

On the group’s website private equity was described as “less transparent, less regulated, and can make much bigger profits” relative to public markets. “Some private equity funds take over existing companies, sacking workers and ‘asset stripping’ the firms,” the description continues. 

It was unclear at press time if the targeted private equity firms were planning to take any preparations in response to the expected protests. All seven private equity firms either declined comment or were unable to respond to a request for comment by press time. 

A number of them, including Carlyle and Blackstone, have dealt with protestors in the past in various geographies and likely have internal response measures for any potential issues. 

A senior employee at one hedge fund targeted by protestors told the Financial Times his firm was “aware of the potential for disruption” and may include as part of its contingency planning moving staff to alternative offices on the day of the protest or asking staff “not to dress like a hedge fund manager” on their commute to and from work. 

It was also unclear what the protests might look like in action; a request for comment sent to the Stop G8 organisers resulted in a response that there were “no official spokespersons, and no-one represents the group”.