Okay, maybe a little melodramatic on the title. But Fox raises an important question: does private equity have FCPA issues when they buy a company, like any other corporate merger? As an industry, man is there money there. Which might be enough to draw the industry focus that the DOJ exhibits. Betty Santangelo better get an FCPA expert in place at SRZ if that’s the case. ‘Cause is she ever gonna be busy if DOJ shifts the laser focus there.
I keep thinking of that scene in Lord of the Rings when the Eye of Sauron shifts its gaze. The DOJ moving to a new industry.
There’s a flip side to this also—as I wrote in a comment on Tom’s post—about whether an investment or ownership of a company by a foreign private equity fund, one owned by a government agency, would be enough to make employees of the takeover target “foreign officials” for purposes of the FCPA. Temasek Holdings, for example, is owned by the government of Singapore. Is that enough to make its holdings government agencies? What about if those investments aren’t made public? You’d think that any minimal due diligence would ferret out the beneficial owners, including hedge funds. So if you don’t know, oh well.
That also raises the issue of whether the bailed out banks and other companies, like AIG and Bank of America, are now government agencies for purposes of the UK Bribery Act. The US owns (or at least, owned) about 80% of AIG. Does that mean that UK citizens can’t take AIG officials out to dinner? I’d hate to be a compliance officer at Lloyd’s of London telling management that.
This just shows once again that the FCPA is a neverending well of confusion, thank G-d.