Thursday, February 14, 2008

Be the Stand-up guy at the gate

Ted Forstmann, a corporate raider immortalized in Barbarians at the Gates for his unsuccessful 1988 bid for RJR Nabisco, flew in on his private jet, presented his offer, and gave Reiman about 30 minutes to make up his mind, without bothering to spend any time with his family.

Now those guys (KKR, Blackstone, Carlyle et al) are here, will that stuff work in India? I say no. Here you have to please even the nannies in the household before you buy some stake. It’s not just easy to pump in excessive leverage, dividend recaps and ripping fees into their Indian portfolio companies and ask them to wilt and watch. Devise new methods. Innovate. I go for a successful PE fund to get going here, it has to have a greater strategic involvement than pureplay financial. Use some hand to spin that wheel of fortune. You can have a killer instinct alright, but have some heart as well. Of the few PE business models that came close, Madison Dearborn scores.

No comments: