Dick Smith: electric shock for Australian PE

The role of private equity is under scrutiny in Australia following the collapse of electronics retailer Dick Smith.

Every now and then a spectacular corporate failure comes along that causes a step-change in how investors apply their lenses to the market. For those who bought shares in the recently collapsed Australian electronics retailer Dick Smith, the step-change might be to insist that sponsors hold a larger residual position in a company after its initial public offering or to disregard private equity IPOs that look like a quick flip. 

Dick Smith, which sells small electronics and home appliances through 390 stores in Australia and New Zealand, went into voluntary administration in early January just two years after listing on the Australian Securities Exchange and only five...

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