To protest the ongoing civil strife in Sudan’s Darfur region, a number of states in the US are restricting their pensions from investing in Sudan. One of the laws that has met with the most opposition from private equity GPs to date is that of the state of Illinois, which passed a law in late 2005 against its state pensions investing in companies that conduct business in Sudan.
Kevin Landry, CEO of Boston-based private equity firm TA Associates, recently told PrivateEquityOnline that Illinois’ state pension fund was among the investors that the Boston-based private equity firm turned away for its recently closed $3.5 billion TA X fund. According to Landry, he was cautioned by legal counsel of the vague wording of Illinois’ new Sudan-divestment law.
“If you have any company selling a product, and any of their reps can sell that product in Sudan, you’d be in violation of the law,” Landry told PEO. “I think it’s a law with great intentions but is probably poorly written.”