Report: Private Equity’s Chemical Catastrophe in Texas

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The day before Thanksgiving, a chemical plant operated by the TPC Group exploded in Port Neches, Texas spewing contaminants, forcing over 50,000 people to evacuate, and leaving the community with the lingering aftereffects of an industrial disaster. The TPC Group is owned by two private equity (PE) firms, SK Capital Partners (SK) and First Reserve. SK Capital specializes in investing in chemical and petrochemical manufacturing firms (and a smaller subset of pharmaceutical companies). First Reserve primarily invests in energy companies, especially fossil fuel assets including oil and gas extraction, coal mines, pipelines, power plants, and other petrochemical processing operations.