How to keep the barbarians at bay

The $20 billion buyout of Sainsbury's that faltered in April would have been Europe's largest, outstripping the current record-holder, last year's $15 billion purchase of Dutch telecom group TDC by a consortium led by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) and The Blackstone Group. While the combined might of CVC Capital Partners, KKR, TPG Capital and Blackstone proved no match for the Sainsbury family's commitment to the brand bearing its name, the failed bid demonstrates private equity's purchasing

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