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.

Several private equity firms with London offices have their addresses pinned on an “action map” to be used by a group of protesters demonstrating against capitalism on 11 June.   

The group, Stop G8, have targeted 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, Bridgepoint Ventures, The Carlyle Group, Emergent Asset Management, Hermitage Capital and Lion Capital were part of 100 addresses identified by protesters as “locations in the West End connected to blatant murder, oppression and exploitation”.

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

It is unclear if the targeted private equity firms are planning any preparations in response to the expected protests. Six of the seven private equity firms targeted either declined comment or were unable to respond to a request for comment by press time. A spokesperson for Hermitage Capital said his firm was not taking any formal action in response to the protests, but had received a warning letter from building management that the G8 demonstrations would take place within the building's vicinity. 

A senior employee at one hedge fund targeted by protesters speaking to the Financial Times said his firm was “aware of the potential for disruption” and may include as part of his 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 is also unclear what the protests might look like in action. In a request for comment sent to an email address listed on Stop G8’s website, a member of the group said that “there are no official spokespersons, and no-one represents the group”. 

In a follow up email asking how the targeted private equity firms were selected, the group said “our map was not intended to be exhaustive, just because other companies in the area are not featured on the map does not let them off the hook.”