For people who are apparently so smart, some of these private equity guys really do have a lot to learn. They need to do more homework. They need to think a bit harder about their targets' place in the world.
OK, I get it - it's called PRIVATE equity - the clue is in the name. We should not expect full disclosure from these people. And yes, there are private equity success stories, and not just as far as their management fees are concerned. There can be a good case for delisting and performing major surgery on a company before restoring the patient to (public) health.
But private equity's big, humiliating reverse over Sainsbury's should give everyone in the sector pause. You may want to do a deal in private, but you will still have to make and win a case in public. Gentlemen, lift your skirts. It is time for private equity's stars to step into the spotlight and tell us a good story.