Private Equity Goes on PR Campaign to Change Image

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Private Equity Goes on PR Campaign to Change Image

In its ongoing multimedia efforts, the lobbying group, the Private Equity Growth Capital Council, has introduced a new video showing the soft side of what many perceive as a prickly industry: private equity.

Called, “Private Equity at Work” it highlights the buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts’s investment in Rockwood Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:ROC). The 12-year old company, created by KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE:KKR), produces components found in lithium-ion batteries; these are included in phones, computers and hybrid cars.

Here’s a link to the video.

It it includes all the requisite representations of private equity at work: private equity executives onsite at a construction site with hard hats touring around, a soundtrack from a car commercial and a portfolio company executive saying a little too enthusiastically, “The private equity partners have been great for us.”

So why highlight Rockwood Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:ROC) in a private equity video? With its 30-plus percent stock price gain in 2012, that’s one appeal; another is its good relationship with KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE:KKR). In the video, Rockwood’s executives talk about the benefits of having a private equity firm owning them, noting greater capital access and a great capacity expansion.

Since K.K.R. took over Rockwood, the  company has built new facilities and grew its employee ranks; these are highlights that the  lobbying group want out there after the negative attacks on Mitt Romney’s association with Bain Capital.

Ken Spain, spokesman for the lobbying group, said, “We expect the conversation about private equity to increase in the coming months” as the presidential race becomes more heated and let’s be honest, it will be Romney vs. Obama on the November ballot.

He added, “Therefore, we have a responsibility to tell our side of the story.”

Look for more of these feel-good videos. The group plans to launch four or five additional “case-study videos” in the next few months along with the ones already introduced on the “Private Equity at Work” website, said Spain.

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