L.A. billionaire Tom Gores, who made his fortune in the private equity business, appears to be treating his newly purchased Detroit Pistons like any other investment. That is, he fired CEO Alan Ostfield and installed two partners from his firm, Bev Hill-based Platinum Equity. Actually, this is pretty standard stuff when a private equity firm takes over. From DealBook:
When a buyout shop, especially a firm like Platinum that specializes in turnaround situations, takes over a company, it comes in, puts a transition team on the ground and radically restructures. It looks to execute a "100-day" plan that deals with the most pressing problems at the company, whether it's weakness in the executive ranks or holes in the company's strategy. From there, a private equity firm carefully monitors the investment on a monthly or quarterly basis. These early and aggressive actions by Mr. Gores underscore the private-equity nature of this deal. What is more, Platinum's $2.75 billion buyout fund invested in the team alongside Mr. Gores's personal funds.
Normally, private equity funds want to make a return on their investment and then sell out after a few years. Given Gores' personal interest - Michigan native and basketball nut - he might hang in there longer than usual. Of course, he and the other owners first have to get past the labor dispute.