With Dade Behring, Mitt Romney and his investors took over a healthy company and loaded it with debt. Rather than sell the company, they then had Dade take out even more loans to buy out their shares, driving the company into bankruptcy. Nearly 3,000 workers lost their jobs, while Romney and his partners made more than $250 million in profit.
Romney Economics: Dade
Jobs lost At least 2,937
Debt at time of bankruptcy $1.5 billion
Bain profits > $250 million
It was just a great place to work, with great people. Everybody really enjoyed it there—and then Bain Capital came in.
—Charlie DeAngelis, mechanical engineer who lost his job after eight years with Dade BehringBoston Globe, 11/19/09
"Bain and a small group of investors bought Dade in 1994 with mostly borrowed money, limiting their risk. They extracted cash from the company at almost every turn—paying themselves nearly $100 million in fees, first for buying the company and then for helping to run it."
My experience at Dade during those Bain Capital years was that it was strictly an investment, not to create jobs. ... No one came from Bain and said, ‘How can we hire more people?’ It was, ‘How do we turn our investment around and make a lot of money?’
—Michael Rumbin, vice president of technology management at Dade during Romney's tenure Los Angeles Times, 12/4/11
1994Ratings agency Moody’s gives Dade’s bond offerings a “junk” rating due to Dade’s debt load
1997Dade CEO Scott Garrett says the company would continue to focus on acquisitions or mergers rather than pursue new technologies or invest in research and development.
Crain’s Chicago Business, 3/24/97
1999Dade takes on $420 million in new debt to pay Romney and the other owners. Romney and his investors take home $242 million from the payout, a 700% return on their initial investment.
“In the case of Dade Behring, the debt the company piled on in 1999 to pay Bain and GS Capital a $365 million distribution eventually led to the company’s crash.”
Daily Deal, 8/8/02
2002Dade Behring files for bankruptcy
They leveraged this thing to the hilt and got out when they could. … We were left holding the bag. … These guys worked there for two years and ended up as millionaires.
—Michael Rumbin, a vice president of technology management at Dade during the Romney yearsBloomberg, 7/20/11
"An examination of the Dade deal, which Mr. Romney approved and presided over, shows the unintended human costs and messy financial consequences behind the brand of capitalism that he practiced for 15 years."