Romney's Claims Contradicted by His Own Peers: Street Whispers
Story updated to reflect Bain Capital's investing history.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Mitt Romney says businesses and investors are turned off to President Barack Obama's high taxes, costly regulations and the government's expansion of power over the private sector.
Romney's peers in the private equity world would disagree.
A total of $74 billion, or about 70% of global private equity investments, have targeted U.S. companies this year, much higher than in other years, according to Bloomberg data on completed and announced deals. That's up from 53% in 2011 and 61% in 2007, the year before Obama was elected and a banner year for the industry.
The top five buyouts in 2012 have targeted U.S. companies, highlighted by Apollo Global Management's(APO) $7.15 billion acquisition of El Paso's energy exploration unit. Only three of the top 10 involve companies outside of the U.S., the data show.
Newly opened private equity investment funds are increasingly concentrated in the U.S., according to PitchBook data. Funds based in the U.S. have grown to over 70% of the private equity industry, up from 60% in 2007.
Those facts rebut Romney's argument that private capital is fleeing U.S. shores. You would think that Romney, as the former CEO of Bain Capital, would know. The private equity firm's buyout history shows that 77% of its investments are concentrated in the U.S., according to Bloomberg data. Since 2009, Bain has diversified itself and pushed into foreign markets, highlighted by its acquisitions of Japanese restaurant chain Skylark and Swedish security provider Securitas in 2011.
"When the price of doing business in America rises, it does not come as a surprise that entrepreneurs and enterprises cut back, let employees go, and delay hiring," Romney says in his 'Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth.' "
On the other hand, European deals have withered because of the debt crisis and Asia has taken on greater significance.
Still, amid a worsening crisis in Europe and fears that once red-hot markets like China and Brazil will cool or even crash, private equity industry leaders have said the U.S. remains the most attractive region for investment.