Ex-TPG executive alleges partner said he wanted to 'smack' him against a wall: lawsuit
By Megan Davies
NEW YORK (Reuters) - TPG Capital was sued on Thursday by its former head of public affairs, who accused the private equity giant of ignoring his warnings that the firm may have violated securities regulations and defrauded investors out of millions of dollars as a result.
The whistleblower lawsuit, almost without precedent in the tight-knit world of private equity, was filed by Adam Levine, who had been an assistant White House press secretary under President George Bush in 2002-2003 and then worked at TPG from 2008 until the end of 2014. Levine says he was asked to leave the firm by senior executives after he raised concerns about TPG's conduct, according to his lawsuit.
TPG, which has $65 billion under management and has, according to the lawsuit, been considering an initial public offering, said Levine's assertions were "patently false and defamatory."
"Mr Levine’s lawsuit today is nothing more than a meritless pleading designed to distract attention from Mr Levine’s own egregious and illegal misconduct," said Marc Kasowitz, an attorney for TPG. He said Levine has stolen confidential and proprietary information from TPG and tried to extort millions of dollars from the firm by threatening a media smear campaign
TPG, co-founded in 1992 by Chairman David Bonderman, sued Levine in January, accusing him of downloading confidential documents including an internal email about TPG's billing process and leaking them to the media, as well as demanding a seven-to-eight figure separation payment.
Levine said in his lawsuit that allegations he breached confidentiality agreements were false. He claims he is owed compensation by TPG.
Levine's suit alleges that TPG, whose past deals have included the takeovers of Burger King, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and the biggest-ever leveraged buyout, the $32 billion takeover of Texas utility TXU, miss-billed expenses, was flouting compliance rules, and gave inaccurate information about its investment team.
According to the filing in the San Francisco/Oakland division of the U.S. District Court in Northern California, Levine said he raised concerns that TPG was engaged in practices that he believed "violated securities laws, rules and regulations," but was brushed off by its executives. Continued...