| July 17
July 17 Blackstone Group LP, KKR & Co LP
and TPG Capital LP are in talks to settle a U.S. lawsuit
accusing them of conspiring not to outbid each other and other
buyout firms on takeovers of companies, two people familiar with
the matter said on Thursday.
Details of the talks could not immediately be learned. If
all three firms settled, Carlyle Group LP would be the
sole private equity firm still facing trial among 11 firms
originally accused of colluding in deals prior to the financial
It could not be immediately established whether Carlyle is
also engaged in settlement talks at this stage. A trial is
scheduled for Nov. 3. Representatives for Blackstone, KKR, TPG
and Carlyle declined to comment.
Last week, Silver Lake Partners LP said it agreed to pay
$29.5 million to settle the case. This followed a $67 million
settlement with Goldman Sachs Group Inc's private equity
arm and a $54 million settlement with Bain Capital LLC last
The lawsuit was brought in December 2007 by shareholders of
a group of companies that the private equity firms bought.
Apollo Global Management LLC, Providence Equity Partners
Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Thomas H. Lee Partners LP
later managed to get dismissed from the case.
The firms were accused of conspiring to reduce competition
by following "club rules," often teaming up on buyouts and
providing quid pro quos to influence each other's behavior.
Twenty-seven buyout deals were originally part of the case.
In the eight that remain, the private equity firms are accused
of collusion by having agreed not to "jump" each other's bids
after buyouts were announced.
The eight remaining buyouts are movie theater chain AMC
Entertainment Holdings Inc, food service firm Aramark
, chipmaker Freescale Semiconductor Ltd, casino
operator Caesars Entertainment Corp, hospital chain HCA
Holdings Inc, pipeline operator Kinder Morgan Inc
, software maker SunGard Data Systems Inc and Texas power
company TXU, now called Energy Future Holdings.
Dow Jones LBO Wire first reported that Blackstone and KKR
were in settlement talks over the lawsuit. It also reported,
citing its sources, that a settlement agreement could be reached
in the next few weeks.
(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Lisa