Is job insecurity higher in leveraged buyouts?

Nick Bacon*, Kim Hoque, Mike Wright

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This article assesses whether job insecurity is higher in leveraged buyouts (LBOs) than elsewhere. It draws on matched employer-employee data from the British 2011 Workplace Employment Relations Study linked to data from the Centre for Management Buyout Research. The analysis finds no consistent evidence of higher job insecurity in LBOs as measured by workforce reduction practices (redundancy rates, job security/no-compulsory redundancies policies and redundancy consultation), dismissal rates, labour use practices (non-permanent employment contracts and outsourcing) and employees’ job security perceptions. Job insecurity is no higher in either current or former LBOs than elsewhere. Contrary to what might be expected, it is also no higher in private equity (PE)-backed LBOs, management buy-ins or high-debt LBOs and there is only partial and weak evidence of higher job insecurity in short-hold LBOs. Job insecurity is also no higher in perfect storm LBOs (PE-backed management buy-ins that are short-holds with high-debt). Concerns over the negative implications of LBOs for job security thus appear misplaced.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-512
JournalBritish Journal of Industrial Relations
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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