There has been a lot written in recent years about the rights and wrongs of private equity backed companies undertaking so called "dual track" IPOs. This is where they try to sell a stake through an IPO or to another sponsor/strategic in parallel and opt (usually) for whichever option yields the best return.
This is something the media often gets very worked-up about. How companies therefore manage the media scrutiny of these processes can play an important role in the success or failure of the transaction.
I have never actually really seen what all the fuss is about. After having worked on a large number of these deals, my assessment is that some journalists just want a stick with which to beat private equity and will grope around for the first thing that comes to hand. And often this is an issue to which they latch on.
It is fair say that private equity sponsors often do not help themselves as they are not always as honest as they could be about the process, thereby serving to reinforce the false perception that there is something inherently wrong. Rather than be secretive and defensive, sponsors should be more transparent and confident. Communicate the message that it their fiduciary duty to maximise returns to their investors and so of course they will seek the best available exit option, whether that is an IPO or sale to a sponsor/strategic.
Journalists smell blood when they think they are being played and treated for fools. It is only when sponsors try to be coy and economical with the truth that the media sharpens its collective knives. Kill the dual track obsession by tackling it head-on, that way you can spend more time talking to the media about what a great business you are selling and less about whether or not their is a dual track.
"Buyout firms are entitled to seek the highest price possible for their assets"