The European Commission find a company’s private equity unit to be "jointly and severally liable" with its portfolio company (Goldman Sachs / Prysmian / Pirelli)

There was a time when private equity firms may have seen themselves as arms-length financial investors but regulators are increasingly holding them responsible for the behaviour of their portfolio companies. A new type of cartel fine emerged in 2014. For the first time ever in Europe, a group of investors were fined more than €30 million (US$32 million) for the behaviour of their portfolio companies, indicating a new and serious risk—that of private equity parental liability. In April 2014, the European Commission (EC) found Goldman Sachs' private equity unit to be "jointly and severally liable" with its portfolio company Prysmian, in connection with an alleged underground submarine high voltage power cable cartel. Goldman Sachs was fined €37 million, Prysmian €104 million, and Pirelli,

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Pontus Lindfelt, The European Commission find a company’s private equity unit to be "jointly and severally liable" with its portfolio company (Goldman Sachs / Prysmian / Pirelli), 2 April 2014, e-Competitions April 2014, Art. N° 79561

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