Cerberus Capital Management: Purchase of Distressed Assets

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:10 pm on 22nd February 2017.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Roger Mullin Roger Mullin Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Treasury) 5:10 pm, 22nd February 2017

If the messages that are being passed are going to answer some of my questions, I will not object too severely.

As I was saying, Cerberus is an example of a company that operates to standards that are the very reverse of a duty of care towards small businesses in our country. Surely we can expect the Government to be concerned about the effect on the good people who have suffered at its hands. In my constituency, a perfectly good trading company of many years’ standing was completely destroyed by the actions of Cerberus, in a similar way to another company mentioned earlier. It was willing to repay the loan, but the additional fees that it was stuck with and the way in which Cerberus operated drove it to bankruptcy. I will not name the company, because like other hon. Members I do not want to embarrass anyone who may be listening, but I am genuinely concerned about the health of the family who were treated in that way.

Let me comment on some points made by other hon. Members. My hon. Friend Corri Wilson said in an intervention how difficult it has been to get a conversation between Cerberus and those affected by its actions. It seems that it is unwilling to speak except in the remarkable case that Sammy Wilson mentioned, when it sought to buy assets in Northern Ireland and was only too happy to make promises such as adopting a long-term strategy—that would be a novel thing for it to do.