Having ushered his investment through an economic downturn, Baker has transitioned three disparate assets into one retailing monolith. While so many other private equity firms are trying to kick billions of dollars worth of debt into perpetuity in hopes of achieving an exit, the executive who has more operational experience than understanding of financial mechanics was the only general partner who made headlines so far this week.

When other LBO shops that were responsible for megadeals six and seven years ago finally do start making headlines, it may not be for their operational know-how--it may, more likely, be a tale of financial engineering and bullish commodity bets failing to pan out over a long-term investment. --Written by Jonathan Marino--

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