U.S. judge allows private equity collusion lawsuit to proceed
March 13 |
March 13 (Reuters) - A federal judge said some of the world's largest private equity firms must face a lawsuit in which they were accused of colluding to drive down prices on companies they sought to buy, harming shareholders of the acquired businesses.
U.S. District Judge Edward Harrington in Boston said investors may pursue a claim that there was an "overarching agreement" among defendants to refrain from "jumping" each other's announced transactions.
The civil antitrust lawsuit had been brought in 2007 against 11 private equity firms including Bain Capital Partners LLC, Blackstone Group LP, Carlyle Group LP, Goldman Sachs Group Inc's private equity arm, KKR & Co and TPG Capital Management LP.
Plaintiffs in the case include shareholders in more than two dozen formerly publicly-traded companies that were bought by the firms between 2003 and 2007. These shareholders claimed to have lost billions of dollars because of the firms' conspiracy to artificially deflate takeover prices.
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