The Virgin Group’s high profile-bid for Northern Rock should be held to the
same transparency rules that have recently been imposed on private equity
companies, a leading City figure has said.
David Walker, the architect of a new code of conduct governing the
companies, made the remarks at a parliamentary committee yesterday, suggesting
that Virgin’s bid bore some of the key hallmarks of a private equity deal.
The code requires buyout companies with at least 1,000 staff based in the UK,
to provide greater detail about owners, management, accounts and debt position.
Sir David highlighted the fact that clear parallels could be drawn between
Virgin’s private company structure coupled with the highly-leveraged nature of
its bid, and the operations of a private equity company.
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