Apax Partners

What Private-Equity Firms and Vampires Have In Common

You may think that when private-equity firms buy troubled companies, their plan for making a profit is to fix them up, then resell them. But often, the heart of their plan is to load the companies up with debt, siphon hundreds of millions of dollars out of them, and stick the next set of investors with the bill.

Gymboree Hires Goldman Sachs to Auction Itself Off

After seeing interest from potential buyers, children's clothing retailer Gymboree has hired Goldman Sachs to auction itself off, and more private-equity firms have already stepped in to say they want to play. Gymboree executives are reportedly looking for price of $55 to $60 a share.

Private Equity Creates Big Returns, Big Controversy

Now that private equity is no longer producing monster returns, it's time to assess its value. By using debt, buyout shops have taken over struggling companies and enriched investors. But critics say the practice leads to more layoffs and the "flipping" of companies.