Presidential politics has thrown an unwelcomed spotlight on all private equity firms, but for Bain Capital the light has shone especially bright.
Occupy Tampa, an offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street protest movement, said it plans to protest Bain Capital at the same time its former chief executive Mitt Romney will accept the Republican nomination for President in Tampa, Florida later this month.
A statement released by the group entitled “Shut Down Bain Capital” describes Bain as engaging in “crony capitalism” that has involved outsourcing US jobs overseas and accepting startup money from “Salvadorian oligarchs” who helped finance “right-wing death squads”.
The group said it intends to highlight an investigation into Bain Capital portfolio company Hospital Corporation of America, which is facing allegations of providing unnecessary medical procedures to drive revenue.
In response to the allegations, Bain provided the following statement to PE Manager:
“Through more than a generation of investing, Bain Capital has been focused on growing great companies and improving their operations. We understand that in a political campaign some may distort our record for political purposes, but we have always operated with high standards of integrity and excellence with respect to our investments and the vetting of our investors.”
To counteract the political attacks on Mitt Romney’s private equity past, the industry has become more active in communicating its message to the public arena. The Private Equity Growth Capital Council recently launched a “Private Equity at Work” campaign that GPs hope will soften the public’s perception of leveraged buyouts.
A Occupy Tampa spokesperson did not return a request for comment on the size of the group, or how many protesters were expected to attend the demonstrations against Bain.