This isn’t what free enterprise is supposed to look like … a group of millionaires buy out a profitable company, cut worker’s salaries and health benefits – then load it with debt …. then walk away with millions. With Bain Capital having raided the pension fund … the government had to step in and pay the pensions of the workers; that means Bain Capital asked for government bailouts instead of paying for these obligations themselves.
Reuters adds to the story HERE:
What’s more, a federal government insurance agency had to pony up $44 million to bail out the company’s underfunded pension plan. Nevertheless, Bain profited on the deal, receiving $12 million on its $8 million initial investment and at least $4.5 million in consulting fees.
Bain got its money back quickly. The new company issued $125 million in bonds and paid Bain a $36.1 million dividend in 1994. Looking back on the dividend payout, Stutz and another former GS Technologies officer, Mario Concha, believe it weakened the mill’s financial position.
In 1995 Bain merged GS with another wire rod maker in Georgetown, South Carolina, to form one of the largest mini-mill steel producers in the U.S. The new company issued another $125 million in bonds to pay for the merger. Bain doubled down, reinvesting $16.5 million of its earlier dividend.
The new company, dubbed GS Industries Inc., would have annual revenues of $1 billion and employ 3,800 people.
Already, though, there were warning signs that the company was not on a sustainable course. Concerned about the level of debt, which totaled $378 million in 1995 on operating income less than a tenth of that amount, the merged company’s new CEO, Roger Regelbrugge, negotiated a clause in his contract that would allow him to retire at the end of 1997.
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