The Private Equity Council recently launched its website, which features reports, studies and policy briefs detailing the beneficial aspects of private industry. The site is intended to debunk some of the negative perceptions of private equity, such as the idea that private equity firms are “quick flip artists” that strip companies of assets and load them up with debt, and that general partners are the only beneficiaries of private equity exits.
Robert Stewart, the PEC’s vice president of public affairs, said the council hopes the site will be valuable for members of Congress and members of regulatory agencies who want to learn more about the industry. He also listed the media, the financial community, limited partners and employees at all levels of private equity portfolio companies as audiences the council hopes to reach.
“It’s intended for anyone who’d like to know more about private equity,” Stewart said.
The current version of the site is just a “baseline”, Stewart said. In the near future, the PEC plans to provide more links to existing market research and data, as well as lengthier magazine features that concern private equity. Stewart said the PEC will also continue to draft and post white papers, such as the white paper on the public value of private equity that it released last week. The PEC would like to eventually commission its own research.
The PEC’s site is not the first online outpost in the private equity battle. The Service Employees International Union established its own website, behindthebuyouts.org, this April. The union posts various reports and critical analyses of private equity deals. The US union also maintains blogs dedicated to specific deals, such as the $26 billion, JC Flowers-led buyout of student loan company Sallie Mae.
Privateequitycouncil.org is not a response to the SEIU site, Stewart said.
“When the PEC’s creation was announced last December, the concept all along was to create a lot of different channels through which we could communicate information about what private equity is, who benefits from private equity, and how it works,” Stewart said. “And obviously the website is a key element of that strategy.”