Monday, July 30, 2007

PEU Acquisitions Mean Less Taxes

Vice President Cheney tells the Admiral he's been let go. "The U.S. government can no longer afford your services due to an expected reduction in corporate tax receipts." Now why would the V.P. have to do such a thing? It's more than any tax dodge Halliburton may get by moving its corporate offices to Dubai. When private equity underwriters (PEU's) buy companies they usually take on debt to finance the purchase. This new expense can wipe out the firm's bottom line until operational improvements can make up the difference.

For example, Triad Hospitals was recently purchased by Community Health Systems. The combined company's debt expense will rise from $220 million to $660 million more than wiping out their net income from 2006. With no net income, CHS will not have to pay income taxes to the federal government. Triad paid $132 million and Community $106 million in taxes in 2006. With $238 million less in the federal coffers from one deal, what might be the cumulative impact of all the buyouts/mergers?

Also how long will it take for my local hospital to make up for the additional interest charge allocated to Community's 133 hospitals? That new $2 million dollar hit has to hurt. How much will prices have to go up to make up for an ownership change? Will patients need to learn high finance to negotiate prices with hospitals as the President suggests? Something stinks like the smell of dirty moneychangers and their purchased politicians...