Today’s report that Mitt Romney remained at the head of Bain Capital for as many as three years longer than his campaign claimed calls into question the Romney’s past defense of Bain Capital’s job-killing business practices.
Critics have highlighted a number of businesses that were bought by Bain Capital and then reorganized to maximize profit for the investment firm, with several falling into bankruptcy and vanishing entirely. In several instances however, Mitt Romney defended his candidacy by pointing out that he left Bain Capital in 1999 to run the 2002 Winter Olympics, before those companies began their collapse. With a new timeline that shows Romney was the CEO and principle owner of Bain Capital as late as 2003, that defense now sounds much more questionable. Here are four companies that folded or downsized in the three year period after Romney claimed to have left Bain Capital:
— GS Industries – 750 Jobs Lost: In a series of ads earlier this year, the Obama campaign hit Romney over Bain Capital’s purchase of GS Industries, a steel company that closed its Kansas City plant and eliminated 750 jobs in February 2001. The Romney campaign responded by claiming that Romney had left Bain Capital well before 2001, and was therefore not tied to the collapse of the GS. Bain Capital and its executives, including Mitt Romney, earned at least $12 million on the initial investment.
— KB Toys – Up to 3,500 Jobs Lost: During the primary season, Newt Gingrich’s 30 minute documentary on Romney and Bain Capital spent a significant amount of time focused on KB Toys, a retail chain bought by Bain in 2000. At the time, the Romney campaign, with an assist from fact-checking groups like PolitiFact, pointed to the calendar. As these new filings show, Romney was still very much at Bain Capital when they purchased KB Toys, and profited mightily when the company took out crippling loans to pay Bain Capital an $83 million dividend.
— Dade International – 1,700 Jobs Lost: Months after Romney claims to have left the company, Bain Capital received a $242 million bounty for its stake in the medical supply company. Romney profited substantially from the deal. In 2002, Dade International filed for bankruptcy, costing more than 1,700 people their jobs. At the time, Romney was the 100 percent owner of Bain Capital, the new documents show.
—DDi Corporation – 275 Jobs Lost: In 1996, the circuit board manufacturer was bought by a group of investors, with Bain Capital in the lead, for more than $40 million. By December 1999, DDi closed a Colorado plant and fired 275 workers. Bain Capital, with Romney still listed as Chairman and CEO, then proceeded to take DDi public, raising $170 million during the company’s IPO in 2000. Over the next few months, Bain began selling off its stock, raising almost $100 million, more than doubling its investment. The stock plummeted shortly thereafter.
In all, as many as 6,000 jobs were lost at these four companies during the period between when the Romney campaign alleges he retired, and when the Globe’s report suggests he actually stepped down.