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Treasury Committee Invites Further Evidence In Private Equity Inquiry

by Carla Johnson, Investors Offshore.com, London

22 November 2007


The UK's Treasury Committee has this week invited written evidence as part of its resumed inquiry into Private Equity, and also announced the first oral evidence session for the next phase of the inquiry.

The Committee revealed that it is inviting written evidence on three key areas: transparency (covering Sir David Walker's proposals), taxation, and a selection of other issues (including market abuse and conflicts of interest, investor preferences, private equity and pensions, TUPE).

Written evidence should reach the Treasury Committee by Monday 17 December.

The Committee revealed that it is not, however, seeking further written evidence on economic risk and financial stability, because it is covering this area within the context of its on-going inquiry into Financial Stability and Transparency.

The first evidence session for this phase of the inquiry will take place on 11 December, and is to be hosted by Sir David Walker.

Evidence is particularly invited relating to the following issues in the three main subject areas:

Transparency

Sir David Walker's proposals for improving the transparency of the private equity industry; including;

- the structure and effectiveness of the recently established BVCA panel for monitoring, and encouraging compliance with, the code of conduct;
- the appropriateness of the proposed level and type of disclosure for the various stakeholders in private equity-owned businesses;
- proposals for a respected capability for providing comprehensive, industry-wide data on the private equity industry;
- the private equity-owned companies to be covered by the code.

Taxation

- The tax treatment of debt and equity;
-the Memorandum of Understanding between the BVCA and HMRC;
- options for further reforms of shareholder debt and employment-related securities;
- the appropriateness of the tax regime for private equity, in the light of recent changes to capital gains tax.

Other issues

- Why investors make different demands of public companies compared with private equity-owned companies;
- the implications of private equity-funded takeovers for company pension funds;
- the operation of TUPE in private equity takeovers;
- market abuse and conflicts of interest in private equity transactions.


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