Funny Money: When Private Equity Attacks

Deals for Hilton, BCE and Huntsman, plus the 'Barbarians' at KKR plan an IPO.
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Editor's Note: Welcome to "Funny Money," a feature written by New York-based comedian Jeff Kreisler. Lest there be any confusion, please note that this column is a work of satire and intended for entertainment purposes only. Enjoy the weekend.

Big news:

The Transformers

opened this week. I've got an original Optimus Prime, from back in 1984. No, I'm not selling it. I'll listen to offers, but it's not worth much. Wish I'd kept it in the plastic. Weirdly, that's what my dad says every year on my birthday.

It was an exciting week in business, buoyed by lots of M&A activity and related PE movement. ("PE movement" is when Private Equity has a movement all over us).

The Carlyle Group began discussions to acquire

Virgin Media

. Great, they've already got our doughnuts (Dunkin'), TV ratings (VNU), and now our Virgins. What sinister plot lies beneath your acquisition of all that is pure?

Och-Ziff Capital Management


Kolberg Kravis Roberts

both announced plans for IPOs. So, KKR is going public. Apparently the firm famous for "Barbarians at the Gate" decided that whoever's at the gate can come in, as long as they can pay the cover.

Interesting name notes: KKR's Roberts used to be called Knickers, but didn't think the initials would be good PR, and, according to me, Och-Ziff is Latvian for 8 zillion dollars.

Apollo Management made a bid for

Huntsman Corp.

in order to send NRA members to the moon.

A group led by the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan and Providence Equity Partners made a $51.7 billion Canadian bid for


, the former Bell Canada.

Wait, pension plans? Those still around?

And what are teachers doing making investments?

Hey, teachers! Leave those Bells alone. All in all, you're just a-nother, brick in the wall ... that private equity is building around the world to protect all its money.

Blackstone will purchase

Hilton Hotels

and, if we're lucky, immediately jettison the hotel's heiress into outer space.

That'd be hot.

Also, I hate it when my room smells like smokey underpants. Fix that, please.

Incidentally, "Smokey Underpants" was the name of my high school band.


Trump Resorts

failed to find any potential buyers.


Guess what Donald?

You're tired!

(Yes, I mean tired with a "t" as in boring, boorish and irrelevant. Nothing personal.)


Universal Music Group

said it won't renew its contract to sell music through


iTunes, prompting Steve Jobs to release his newest gadget, iDestroyAllCompetition. It's a robot in the shape of a computer virus.

Meanwhile, Brad Greenspan is trying to mount a rival bid for

Dow Jones

. Apparently, he's tangled with Rupert Murdoch before. Hey, Brad, you hear Rupert Murdoch wants to give me $300 million? Whadda you got?

Nelson Peltz is trying to combine





Whoa whoa whoa there Peltzy.

You can't combine those two! One is a greasy, grimy fast food chain that serves unhealthy slop, the other serves its slop in square patties. People will be confused. And fat.

In other polyunsaturated news, the former CEO of 7-Eleven will now lead


with his slogan: "Thank you, come again."


admitted that a subsidiary stole information from


. Not to worry. Oracle said it already knew that, and SAP claimed the info could be turned into Spanish with a touch of a button.

U.S. airlines had their first profitable quarter since early 2000, and all it took was canceled flights, crappy in-flight amenities, and the worst imaginable over-the-phone customer service in history. I'm looking at you,


. What makes you think I won't spend more money elsewhere just to have a coherent conversation? Yelling the spelling of my name 10 times isn't fun.

Detroit's Big Three automakers all lost customers last month, which means they should clearly keep fighting an increase in fuel economy standards.


agreed to bring the Chinese Chery car to America. Chrysler? You still around? Well, at least you're learning: Instead of investing in your own products, just get a stake in the foreign ones. The only things we still make in America are broken dreams.

China. Tired of it yet? Well, don't be. It's coming. And bringing its contamination along. For instance, China is a major exporter of freshwater fish, but much of their water is fouled with industrial chemicals. Hey, China, over here, we just call that "All Spice."

It's not just China's exports, either. Almost a fifth of their food and domestic products are substandard or tainted, or what I call "danger-licous." China also pressured the World Bank to omit data on premature domestic deaths linked to pollution. Hey, it's just statistics. As our greatest hippie Mark Twain once said, there are "lies, damned lies, and statistical lies," so let's not sweat it. Pollution is part of a healthy breakfast. Just add some dairy, grains and chemo.

Frankly, China's strategy is obvious: Eliminate world wide poverty, one poor person at a time.

British lawmakers held a hearing about the dangers of debt leverage in private equity deals, then the lawmakers were purchased by a consortium of private equity firms known simply as "The Colonies."

A federal judge might actually


dismiss charges against 12 KPMG defendants after he learned that they planned to dry-clean his pants.


was granted the right to have its own armed security units. Um, I thought they already had their own security contingent, i.e., "The Russian Army."

Venezuela agreed to sell gas to Iran, just as General Zod agreed to loan Lex Luthor some kryptonite.

A graduate of Princeton, Virginia Law School, and the fictitious College of Asparagus Lovers, Jeff Kreisler (

) is an accomplished comedian, writer, producer and person. He's the winner of the 2006 Bill Hicks Spirit Award for Thought Provoking Comedy, stars in the "Comedy Against Evil" tour, and is writing "Get Rich Cheating," a parody of corporate crime, for Prentice Hall Press. Jeff performs at clubs and colleges all over the known galaxy and has been featured at the Edinburgh Fringe, Freedom Cinema, and San Francisco Comedy Festivals. He plays blues saxophone, speaks French and Russian, was a sports broadcaster, taught English in Russia, helped start a non-profit dedicated to at-risk youth, and played college football. After extended stops in cities like San Francisco, Boston, and D.C., Jeff now lives in New York City from whence he is available for birthdays, circumcisions and bachelorette parties. Kreisler appreciates your feedback;

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