High Roller

Gawker Document Dump Reveals Romney Holdings in Yacht, Casino, Private-Jet Companies (Photos)

Mitt and Ann Romney’s far-flung investments included loans to – or stakes in – hundreds of companies, including some bold-face names.

AP Photo (3); AFP / Getty Images (bottom left)

AP Photo (3); AFP / Getty Images (bottom left)

Gawker’s 900-page plus document dump of financial statements for hedge funds and other funds associated with Bain Capital that Mitt Romney owns parts of lit up the financial press when they were released last Thursday.  Although the documents contain few significant surprises, they offer a fuller picture of Romney’s complicated, and prosperous, financial life.  The funds mostly invested in the stock or debt of other companies, many of which were backed or owned by private equity firms. Through the funds in which he was an investor, Romney effectively owned chunks of hundreds of companies, or pieces of loans made to them. Here’s a look at a few of them. 

Nick Ut / AP Photo

America Media Operations

Fund: Sankaty High Yield Partners II LP
Investment: $3.9 million loan, valued at $2 million

Gawker breathlessly described the loan Sankaty owned as evidence that Mitt Romney was the “National Enquirer’s banker.” A bit of an exaggeration. The fund in which Mitt and Ann Romney’s respective blind trusts invested did own a piece of a loan made to a subsidiary of a parent company of the National Enquirer (as well as Star and other entertainment and tabloid publications). The fund itself went into liquidation in 2009 and American Media filed for bankruptcy in 2010.

Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Las Vegas Sands

Fund: Sankaty High Yield Partners II
Investment: Two loans, total of roughly $3 million, valued at $2.66 million

Las Vegas Sands is the casino empire run by mega-Republican and Romney super-PAC donor Sheldon Adelson. Its flagship properties are The Venetian in Las Vegas, and several properties in Macao, including The Venetian Macao. The piece of two loans were owned by the Sankaty fund, which Mitt and Ann Romney’s blind trusts were investors in. While candidate Romney has not been shy about accepting Adelson’s political support--Adelson accompanied Romney during his recent trip to Israel–Romney has previously criticized the “social costs” of gambling. The loan to the vastly profitable Sands wasn’t seen as a big risk for the Sankaty fund: the interest rate was only the LIBOR rate plus 1.75%.

Nicholas Kamm, AFP / Getty Images

Harlem Globetrotters, International

Fund: Sankaty High Yield Partners II
Investment: $ 2 million loan, valued at $1.8 million

President Obama’s opponent recently hosted a fundraiser featuring NBA stars past and present, and is known for his high-profile shoot-arounds. But it’s Mitt Romney who has helped fund the legendary touring basketball team The Harlem Globetrotters. The $2 million loan isn’t due until 2017, and the team will probably be able to pay whomever bought it from the liquidated Sankaty fund. After all, the Globetrotters have been playing since 1926.

John M. Dibbs, Hawker Beechcraft Corporation / PRNewsFoto / AP Photo


Fund: Sankaty High Yield Partners II
Investment: Two loans, total of $3.8 million, valued at $2 million

The aeronautics company is famous for its sleek, single-pilot turbine and jet engine planes. It started as a division of Raytheon, the defense contractor, before it was spun off in 2007. The company, which was owned by private equity backers, filed for bankruptcy in May and a Chinese airplane manufacturer, Superior Aviation Beijing, has offered to buy its business jet and general aviation divisions, not the defense division.

Paul Sakuma / AP Photo

Warner Music Group

Gawker had fun with this one when they found that Sankaty High Yield Partners II owned more than 344,000 shares of the famed music company worth some $1.6 million. After all, Warner Music was responsible for, as Gawker put it, having “brought you acts like the Pimp Squad Click, Big Kuntry King, and Mac Boney.” Warner Music is, of course, one of the “big four” music companies. It owns many labels and distributes the music of many other artists it hasn’t signed directly. Perhaps Mitt Romney could listen to Rick Ross, a Miami-based rapper whose music is distributed through Warner: “I'm the biggest boss that you seen thus far.”

Winfried Rothermel / AP Photo

Bavaria Yachts

Fund: Bain Capital Fund VIII-E, L.P.
Investment: Minimum of $781,781, capitalization and restructuring

Bavaria Yachts is a German manufacturer of sailing and motor yachts. The whole company was bought by Bain Capital for a rumored 1.3 billion euros in June, 2007, and one Bain Capital fund was involved in recapitalizing and restructuring that investment in late 2009. Mitt Romney himself doesn't have a yacht—but he does enjoy Jet-Skiing.

Getty Images

American Institution of Gastric Banding

Fund: Sankaty High Yield Partners III, L.P.
Investment: $84,292 in common stock

The American Institution of Gastric Banding "owns and operates surgical weight loss centers in Texas and Arizona," according to Bloomberg. Gastric banding is a surgical process in which an inflatable silicone device is wrapped around the stomach in order to compress it, forcing the patient to eat less. Reuters described Sankaty Advisors, a large Bain Capital offshore affiliate, as "AIGB's primary lender and equity holder."