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Private Equity IPOs: Generating Faster Job Growth and More Investment

Private-equity firms have become an increasingly important source of funds for financing US companies. Private-equity firms make investment decisions that can brighten or darken the economic outlook of the communities in which their companies operate. When private-equity firms initially take over struggling companies, alarms sound over factory and store closings and laid-off workers. Politicians, such as Senator Elizabeth Warren, have reportedly targeted private-equity firms as “vampires—bleeding the company dry and walking away enriched even as the company succumbs.”

However, because private-equity firms are so opaque, there is a paucity of data about the operating history of companies owned by private-equity firms. Few outsiders know much about the aftermath of private-equity involvement. There are few sources of data that can show whether the rejuvenated company would create new and better jobs, modernize factories, and generate more store openings that ultimately leave the community much better off than before the private-equity firm arrived.