In February 2007 the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association asked Sir David Walker to undertake an independent review of the adequacy of disclosure and transparency in private equity with a view to recommending a set of guidelines for conformity by the industry on a voluntary basis. This review culminated in November 2007 with the publication of the Guidelines for Disclosure and Transparency in Private Equity (.pdf).
The Guidelines require additional disclosure and communication by private equity firms and their portfolio companies where such portfolio companies had more than 1,000 UK employees, generate more than 50% of their revenues in the UK and either had an enterprise value of more than £500 million when acquired by one or more private equity firms or, in the case of a public to private transaction, had a market capitalisation together with premium for acquisition of control of more than £300 million.
- The principal recommendations of the Guidelines for enhanced disclosure by portfolio companies are that:
- The audited report and accounts should be readily accessible on the company website no more than six months after the company year end.
- The report should identify the private equity fund or funds that own the company and provide details of the composition of the board.
- The financial review should cover risk management objectives and policies in the light of the principal financial risks and uncertainties facing the company with links to the appropriate detail in the footnotes to the accounts.
- The report should include a business review that substantially conforms to the provisions of Section 417 of the Companies Act 2006 including the Enhanced Business Review requirements that are ordinarily applicable only to quoted companies.