At the Academy of Management’s annual conference in Philadelphia, Home Depot founder Kenneth Langone (pictured here with his scepter of lovemaking) was out to steal some of PE’s sunshine. Some of the more memorable quotes from his talk:
[PE] ain’t that complicated. We tend to mystify simple math.
People who invest in [PE guys], no one’s putting a gun to their head. They’re doing it to make a quick buck.
It’s kind of like sex – there’s nothing new about it.
[PE deals are a way to] get more juice out of a lemon.
Business Week's story declines to mention whether Langone went on to say "PE guys bring home my money, take my money, give it to another man. Squeeze me PE baby, till the juice runs down my leg."
Or even: "If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, time to divest."
The other speakers (the non-billionaires) were a bit more optimistic about private equity and what it does for companies, and have not delved as deeply into the mysteries of human sexuality as Kenneth Langone (reverse cowgirl deep, which granted doesn't seem all that deep with modern equipment and training, but back in Langone's day...).
The Joy of Private Equity [BusinessWeek]