SSome time during 1992, a Mitt Romney led (Wolf) Bain Capital acquired American Pad & Paper, or Ampad, from Mead Corp. At that time Ampads total debt was $11 million. The scheme was a “roll-up strategy” in which a firm buys up similar companies in the same industry in order to expand revenues and cut costs.
The Price for control.. $5 Million
Under the watchful eye of Romney and (Wolf) Bain several other office supply makers were purchased, always borrowing heavily each time. Seven years later in 1999, Ampad’s debt reached nearly $400 million, up from $11 million in 1992 (according to public filings with the United States Government).
By the value of the additional companies sales grew, too – for a while. Then in the 1990’s foreign competition and increased buying power overseas by superstores like Bain-funded Staples, sliced Ampad’s revenues. Yes, Mitt Romney was advising one client to borrow money and buy its competitors while he was also advising a fledgling Staples company to buy overseas and not invest a dime in the American competition.
The result: Ampad couldn’t pay its debts and was forced into bankruptcy. The Sheep were led to the slaughter by Mitt Romney and Bain Capital. Workers lost jobs and stockholders were left with worthless shares.
True to the Model of Plunder it seems that Romney and Bain Capital made money – hand over fist. The Plunderers originally put just $5 million to control the deal, but quickly realized huge returns that it had planned for.
Several months after shuttering an Indiana plant in 1995 eliminating 200 American workers, Bain Capital borrowed more money to have Ampad buy yet another company, and pay Romney and Bain and its investors more than $60 million on top of undisclosed fees for arranging the deal. Not bad work if you can get it. $5 Million in and $60 million out in three years the only cost was to the 200 workers. All on borrowed money.
Mitt Romney and (Wolf) Bain Capital sucked millions more out of Ampad. $2 million a year in management fees, additional fees for each Ampad acquisition. In 1995 alone, Ampad paid Romney and (Wolf) Bain at least $7 million.
Then came the cream, even though Mitt Romney and (Wolf) Bain were advising staples against the “Roll up Strategy” and Ampad business model, it was determined that Ampad would make an initial public offering.
So Mitt Romney and (Wolf) Bain took this increasingly debt laden company with rapidly declining revenues to market charging $2 million fee for arranging the transaction and $45 to $50 million for selling a portion of its shares.
Much to the dismay of Romney and Bain Capital, bankruptcy ensued. The company went into bankruptcy in 2000, holding a debt load of more than $400 million. For the folks that loaned a lot the money, $170 million to unsecured creditors, Ampad ended up paying out less than $330,000, the filings show.
While Romney and Bain Capital lamented the loss in value of their remaining one-third equity interests shares publically, privately they celebrated. They put $5 million in and took $100 million out at a cost of less than 1,000 American jobs. The profit was almost $100,000 per job lost.
For Mitt Romney and (Wolf) Bain Capital… All was right with the world.