Issue Date: March 12, 2007
Private Equity Buyers
No one should fault GE for its decision to complete the sale of its plastics division, since this is a business decision based on the future direction of the company and the perceived profits of this segment (C&EN, Jan. 15, page 13). However, I am disturbed by the possible buyer being a private equity company with the obvious objective of a quick and lucrative turnover of its purchase at a profit.
Unfortunately, during the interim period, to maximize profits and to make the company more attractive to future suitors or for a public offering, current consideration of nonprofit centers such as chemical research will be denigrated. What this implies for the future of research in chemical companies that are being bought by private equity corporations remains to be seen.
Silver Spring, Md.
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