It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
That’s because Bain Capital, under Romney as chief executive officer, made about $1 billion in a leveraged buyout 12 years ago that remains controversial in Italy to this day. Bain was part of a group that bought a telephone-directory company from the Italian government and then sold it about two years later, at the peak of the technology bubble, for about 25 times what it paid.
Bain funneled profits through subsidiaries in Luxembourg, a common corporate strategy for avoiding income taxes in other European countries, according to documents reviewed by Bloomberg News. The buyer, Italy’s biggest telephone company, now has a total market value less than what it paid Bain and other investors for the directory business.
In Italy, the deals have spurred at least three books, separate legal and regulatory probes and newspaper columns alleging investors made a fortune at the expense of Italian taxpayers. Boston-based Bain wasn’t a subject of the inquiries, which didn’t result in any charges.
Bain’s purchase and quick resale of the yellow pages business is “an example of Italian capitalism, whereby those with little capital are able to cheat the system and enrich themselves,” Lannutti said. “It’s a mistake Italians hope won’t be repeated again now.”
Twelve years later, Romney’s ties to the deal could hurt his image in Italy, said Carlo Alberto Carnevale-Maffè, a professor of strategy at Bocconi University’s School of Management in Milan.
“There is always this underlying sentiment in Italian public opinion that when you are in politics you don’t serve the public good, you serve your personal interest,” Carnevale-Maffè said. “Many will see Romney’s role in this as confirmation and it will be interpreted in a very cynical way.”
“The government got ripped off,” said Alessandro Fogliati, who led a Stet shareholder group that voted against the sale of Seat. “It was the beginning of the destruction of Italian industry.”
How about using TARP funds to buyout a bank. PNC buys National City Bank. National City was denied TARP Funds. More on that deal. Plenty of people got screwed and MIttens was not involved.
It would appear to me that the common thread in all this is that the wealthy elite, operating under the umbrella of protections offered through corporatizing, pay virtually nothing into a system that they continually scheme to suck the life out of. With the help of numerous free trade agreements etc..., they have managed to spread their destructive practices across the free world and beyond, so it should come as no surprise that most all of the industrialized nations are now fighting to fend off total economic collapse.
After the company’s value collapsed, the deal sparked widespread outrage and various probes in Italy, which has been slammed with economic woes in recent years.