If Jeb Bush is seriously pondering becoming a candidate for president, this in-depth Bloomberg Businessweek story should give him pause. It reveals many of Bush's very complicated business deals including apparent overseas tax dodges, potential problems for a 2016 campaign, and suggests that maybe Bush isn't serious about running after all.
An excerpt from Bloomberg Businessweek:
Documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Nov. 27 list Bush as chairman and manager of a new offshore private equity fund, BH Global Aviation, which raised $61 million in September, largely from foreign investors. In November the fund incorporated in the United Kingdom and Wales—a structure, several independent finance lawyers say, that operates like a tax haven by allowing overseas investors to avoid U.S. taxes and regulations.
BH Global Aviation is one of at least three such funds Bush has launched in less than two years through his Coral Gables, Fla., company, Britton Hill Holdings. He’s also chairman of a $26 million fund, BH Logistics, established in April with backing from a Chinese conglomerate, and a $40 million fund involved in shale oil exploration, according to documents filed in June and first reported on by Bloomberg News.
His flurry of ventures doesn’t suggest someone preparing to run for president, according to a dozen fund managers, lawyers, and private-placement agents who were apprised of his recent activities by Bloomberg Businessweek. Most private equity funds have a life span of 10 years. While it isn’t impossible that Bush could bail on his investors so soon after taking their money, “that would be unusual,” says Steven Kaplan, a private equity expert at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. One fundraiser for private equity adds that normally you’d be winding down such businesses, rather than expanding them, if you were going to run.
Until now, many people have assumed that Bush’s greatest challenge would be dispelling the perception among Republican primary voters that he’s a moderate in a party dominated by right-wing conservatives. In the wake of Romney’s bruising 2012 loss, however, Bush’s overseas funds, mysterious investors, and foreign entanglements could prove harder to overcome. As a budding private equity mogul, he’s begun to resemble a Mini-Mitt. Bush declined to be interviewed for this article.
Read the entire Bloomberg Businessweek story here.