Private equity

Private equity's less-than-stellar track record in the legacy media industry

A grave for a newspaper.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The legacy media business hasn't seen an IPO for a very long time. Instead the big trend is the other way around: public companies being taken private.

The big success story is the Washington Post, which traded under the ticker symbol WPO before it was bought by Jeff Bezos for $250 million. Under his aegis, investments no longer need to generate an immediate improvement in the bottom line. The result is a revitalized property that's almost certainly worth much more than Bezos paid for it — were he to want to sell it, which he doesn't.

How workers suffered from Shopko's bankruptcy while Sun Capital made money

Illustration of a hundred dollar bill on a fish hook being pulled away from an open hand.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Private equity is again under fire for bankrupting a longtime retailer and stiffing its employees.

What's new: At issue this time is Shopko, a Wisconsin-based discount chain that was acquired by Sun Capital Partners in 2005 for around $1.1 billion. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January and later opted to liquidate after failing to find a buyer.