In a special letter to investors on Tuesday, Bain Capital’s top partners defended their investment record and addressed the criticism that has dogged the Boston firm as its founder, Mitt Romney, runs for president.
Bain said it has helped create hundreds of thousands of jobs over its 28-year history, backing some of Romney’s assertions on the campaign trail. Romney has said he personally helped create more than 100,000 jobs. The private equity firm also said that the companies it has invested in have, together, grown their revenues by more than $105 billion globally, and by $80 billion in the United States.
The private equity firm also said that less than 5 percent of the companies in its portfolio have filed for bankruptcy while under its control. The letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Globe, said the attacks on a handful of investments that went south, were skewed.
The three-page letter is remarkable in that it tackles head-on months of negative headlines and scrutiny of its deals, and Romney’s record - issues that the firm historically has avoided commenting on publicly.
“Most of you have been our partners for many years, and you know that we prefer to maintain a low public profile and to devote our energies to the work we do on your behalf,’’ the letter said. “That hard work continues with enthusiasm, despite an unusual amount of media attention on the firm due to the presidential campaign.’’
Perhaps responding to widespread coverage of people tied to the firm giving millions of dollars in political contributions to the Romney campaign, the letter also said, “we are not a political organization and take no public position on any candidate.’’
Romney has positioned himself as a candidate who can fix the economy and create jobs based on his experience at Bain. The firm buys and turns around established firms and also makes smaller investments in start-ups. Its customers, and the recipients of the letter, are pension funds, endowments, foundations, and other large investors.
Bain said its companies employ more than 1 million people worldwide, and generate more than $155 billion of annual revenue. Bain said it returned $4.1 billion to its investors last year, in initial public stock offerings of portfolio companies and sales of companies. It also committed $3.6 billion to nine new investments and said it is optimistic about 2012.
Beth Healy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.