KKR, Blackstone execs in boom collusion?
The emails were revealed in an unredacted version of a lawsuit filed by shareholders in companies bought by private equity firms, alleging buyout firms held down the value of takeover targets by colluding on deals.
We would much rather work with you guys than against you, Blackstone President Tony James wrote in an email to KKR co-founder George Roberts that is quoted in the lawsuit.
The e-mail was allegedly sent after KKR decided to step down in the $17.6 billion bidding for semiconductor company Freescale - a sales process that a consortium led by Blackstone eventually won.
Together we can be unstoppable but in opposition we can cost each other a lot of money, James wrote.
Blackstone and KKR declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Shareholders in more than two dozen companies bought by private equity firms between 2003 and 2007 claim to have lost billions of dollars because of the alleged conspiracy around takeovers, such as the leveraged buyout in 2006 of hospital company HCA by Bain, KKR and others worth $32.1 billion, including debt.
The lawsuit alleges that shareholders lost at least $1 billion because of collusion by private equity firms in the HCA deal alone.
They have sued more than 10
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