Under fire from government officials and labor unions alike, Permira Advisers‘ chief executive insists that private equity does not destroy jobs. Permira, one of Britain’s largest buyout firms, has been criticized for its stewardship of Birds Eye and the Automobile Association; each company has shed more than a quarter of its total workers since being acquired by the firm.
But in an interview with the BBC, Damon Buffini said that his firm’s work is mostly misunderstood.
“In a global economy there is no job security unless the business is profitable and sustainable and that it what we’re doing,” Mr. Buffini said. He pointed to Permira’s ownership of New Look and Travelodge as examples of private equity adding on jobs.
Mr. Buffini said he is inviting members of the GMB trade union for further discussions.
Meanwhile, Brendan Barber, the General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress, which represents the majority of Britain’s labor unions, said in The Guardian that his group will lobby the Group of Eight’s president, Germany’s Angela Merkel, next month to force greater disclosure by private equity.
“Indeed, ministers in this country can no longer turn a blind eye to private equity,” Mr. Barber wrote. “The TUC believes they need to think carefully about how to regulate an industry that, at present, is pretty much allowed to operate with impunity.”
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