A group of 13 buyout firms was sued Wednesday for alleged conspiracy to suppress the purchase prices of 42 public companies that were taken private. The buyout firms named in the complaint are: Kohlberg Kravis Roberts; Carlyle Group; Clayton Dubilier & Rice; Silver Lake Partners; Blackstone Group; Bain Capital; Thomas H. Lee Partners; Texas Pacific Group; Madison Dearborn Partners; Apollo Management; Providence Equity Partners; Merrill Lynch; and Warburg Pincus.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in New York on behalf of shareholders of the 42 companies — which include Univision Communications Inc., HCA Inc., CarrAmerica Realty Corp. and Harrah's Entertainment Inc. — seeks unspecified damages and a halt to the alleged collusion that would suppress "prices that would otherwise prevail in a competitive market."
KKR spokesman David Lilly and TPG spokesman Owen Blicksilver declined to comment. The other defendants could not be contacted for comment by deadline.