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08-16-2012, 07:02 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2006
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Bain and gov. contracts

"He didn't built it" redux................
FT investigation: Romney’s take-off -

The first leg of Mitt Romney’s journey to a private equity fortune ran between Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas and the Tonopah Test Range, deep in the Nevada desert.

In the mid-1980s Tonopah, also known as Area 52, was home to the newly developed, top secret F-117A stealth fighter. Pilots and support personnel lived in Las Vegas and spent their working week in the desert.
A $10m-a-year contract to shuttle them back and forth was the prize asset of a small charter company called Key Airlines, which became a formative deal for Bain Capital, the private equity firm that Mr Romney cofounded, and where he built the career that is his main credential for the White House.

A start-up pilots union was unlawfully suppressed, according to a federal court ruling. Some other methods foreshadowed the later success of Bain Capital: Key Airlines was an early example of a leveraged buyout. The initial deal was 100 per cent debt financed with no capital from the investors.

Bain also reshaped Key Airlines, turning it from a profitable, taxpaying company with a $13m balance sheet and its own aircraft, into an operating company with a $2m balance sheet and a holding company from which it sold assets separately.


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