In the News

Welcome to a resource for all the news about Dean Bradley Osborne regarding our clients, transactions and staff.

show all [+]

hide all [+]

Investment Confirms a Tectonic Shift in Hadoop and The Accelerated Need for Big Data Solutions at the Center of the Enterprise

PALO ALTO, Calif. – March 31, 2014 –Cloudera, the leader in enterprise analytic data management powered by Apache Hadoop™, today announced a $900 million round of financing with participation by top tier institutional and strategic investors. This financing round includes the previously-announced $160 million of funding from T. Rowe Price and three other top-tier public market investors, Google Ventures, and an affiliate of MSD Capital, L.P., the private investment arm of Michael Dell and his family, and a significant equity investment by Intel that gives them an 18% share of Cloudera.

“The market opportunity for companies to gain insight and build transformative applications based on Hadoop is tremendous,” said Tom Reilly, CEO of Cloudera. “Clearly, demand is accelerating and the market is poised for growth – for all of the players in this space, and we believe Cloudera will be the company to lead this global shift in extracting value from data. This position of strength and leadership is evidenced by the strong support of public market investors, large institutional investors and now key strategic investors including Intel, who’ve made sizable and significant contributions to cement our platform offering.”

Validating the opportunity for Hadoop and Cloudera

Industry analysts who follow the market share different estimates on the market opportunity, but they agree on one thing, it’s significant and growing fast. Many enterprises are re-architecting their data centers, emulating the web-scale companies who pioneered the use of open source software like Hadoop, combined with industry-standard hardware instead of dedicated engineered systems. A few indicators of the growth of big data include these reports:

  • Gartner estimates the market for data management infrastructure (database management systems including data warehousing, storage management, BI, ECM and data integration, and related systems as $74 billion in 2014, growing to $94 billion by 2017 1.
  • IDC predicted the big data technology and services market will grow at a CAGR of 27% from 2012 to 2017, growing to $32.4 billion 2, and that the Internet of Things will generate 30 billion autonomously connected endpoints 3.
  • Gartner predicted that Big Data would drive $232 billion in IT spending through 2016 4
  • IDC estimates that the amount of data in the world will grow fifty-fold from 2010 to 2020 5 .

Cloudera pioneered the commercial Hadoop market, when it was founded in 2008 and was the only company promoting this new architecture. Today most industry analysts who follow big data would agree that Hadoop is the underlying technology behind a growing number of big data projects. Examples include web-scale properties that have pioneered the development and deployment of Hadoop in their data centers, and more frequently by enterprises who are rethinking their data centers. Although enterprises of any size will benefit by becoming more information-driven, today the greatest traction is occurring in large enterprises. They are gathering all their information and then extracting and quantifying those insights to push out in the form of new products and services. Many projects based on Hadoop, the de facto standard for data management, start out small and grow over time.

Within the last year Cloudera brought to market its version of an enterprise data hub (EDH), a reference architecture based on Apache Hadoop surrounded with open source components. The EDH is a platform that plays a critical role in data management. A Cloudera-powered EDH is open source at the core, and has an open architecture which enables ISVs to integrate directly to the platform. That gives customers choice and flexibility. Since its founding, Cloudera has taken the lead to identify or found the projects and components that deliver a core platform and it has developed unique software that adds critical capabilities for security, data management and governance, which are essential for storing, accessing and using data.

“Intel’s sizable investment in Cloudera, alongside funding from institutional investors, Google Ventures and MSD Capital, are all indicative of both the very large market opportunity and the leadership position of Cloudera,” said Jim Frankola, Chief Financial Officer for Cloudera. “These investments give us significant financial resources to accelerate growth and deliver long-term sustainable value to our customers and partners.”

Cloudera will use the funding to: support the previously-announced collaboration agreement with Intel, further drive the enterprise adoption of and innovation in Hadoop, to which it is the largest open source contributor, and promote the enterprise data hub (EDH) market; support geographic expansion into Europe, Asia and now China through Intel’s market presence in that region, and expand its services and support capabilities for new open source projects; and scale the field and engineering organizations.”

Dean Bradley Osborne Partners and Allen & Company served as financial advisers to Cloudera and assisted the Company in arranging the financing.

The financing is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including applicable regulatory requirements.

1Gartner Enterprise Software Forecast 2013 Q3 Update
2IDC Worldwide Big Data Technology and Services Forecast, 2012-2017, Doc 244979
3 IDC Worldwide Predictions, 2014
4 Gartner, October 2012
5 IDC Digital Universe Study, December 2012

close

Colton, CA, March 12, 2014 – Lineage Logistics (“Lineage”), a warehousing and logistics portfolio company of Bay Grove, has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Millard Refrigerated Services (“Millard”), a national third-party warehousing and logistics company headquartered in Omaha, NE. With the acquisition of Millard, Lineage will expand its network by 30 strategic locations and increase its footprint to more than 21 million total square feet and more than 518 million cubic feet of cold storage capacity.

The combination of Lineage and Millard will immediately double the size of Lineage’s business and create the second largest refrigerated warehouse network globally, based on data from the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close within the next 30 days.

“Bringing Millard into the Lineage family will give us additional scale to support our growth and increase our investment in innovative technology, logistics offerings and our facilities, while adding talented management to our team. As a result, our customers will have unparalleled geographic and service capabilities in major logistics centers throughout the country with individually-designed solutions to fit their needs,” said Lineage CEO Bill Hendricksen. “Millard’s highly reputable operations and dedicated focus on service makes the company a great fit for Lineage.”

Millard’s CEO and owner, Lance Larsen, will become a Board member of and investor in Lineage. “Lineage’s leadership team is highly experienced and the ideal partner to continue growing Millard’s legacy,” said Larsen. “This is a terrific opportunity for all employees and customers to work with an exceptional company.”

“By acquiring Millard, we are executing on our long-term strategy to grow Lineage by adding a great family-owned company with deep entrepreneurial roots, values and culture,” said Kevin Marchetti, Managing Director of Bay Grove. “The Lineage vision started with the acquisition of one warehouse in 2008 and has now resulted in the combination of two acknowledged leaders in the industry. We are proud of the fact that every former owner supports our vision and has chosen to remain an active investor in Lineage. The Larsen family has built a world class company and we are honored to be the stewards of the business for the future.”

Larry Larsen founded Millard in 1963 to serve the American food industry in the Midwest. Since then, the family-owned and operated company has grown its network to 30 facilities across the United States totaling 228 million cubic feet of capacity. In addition to cold storage distribution and warehousing, Millard also provides customers with a wide variety of value-added food logistics services including transportation, high pressure processing and food manufacturing.

Marchetti concluded, “With over four billion cubic feet of refrigerated warehousing in the United States, cold chain storage is the core of our domestic food distribution infrastructure. With the addition of Millard, Lineage will become a much larger operator in this growth industry, greatly expanding the number of markets we can serve.”

close

Market Leader Positioned for Sustained Growth and Continued Leadership in Tech-Enabled Healthcare Cost Management Solutions

NEW YORK, Feb. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – Today, a group led by Starr Investment Holdings, an investment firm focused on long-term investments, and Partners Group, a global private markets investment management firm, announced the acquisition of MultiPlan, Inc. from Silver Lake, the global leader in technology investing, and BC Partners, a leading international private equity firm. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1980, MultiPlan delivers comprehensive transaction-based solutions to healthcare payers. With a network of over 900,000 healthcare providers and extensive proprietary analytics, MultiPlan generates over $11 billion in medical cost savings on about 40 million claims annually. Leveraging technology, data and analytics, MultiPlan optimizes healthcare transactions by reducing medical costs through its network- and analytics-based solutions and by enabling efficient transaction processing through its unique technology platform.

“Today’s announcement marks the next step in an exciting journey for MultiPlan,” said Mark Tabak, MultiPlan’s Chief Executive Officer. “Starr’s historical relationship with MultiPlan and its executives was fundamental in bringing our firms together. With the investment led by Starr and Partners Group, we have the long-term capital, strategic support and collective set of relationships to further grow our company and evolve our solutions in the rapidly-changing healthcare market and beyond.”

Mr. Tabak added: “We have enjoyed our partnership with BC Partners and Silver Lake and thank them for their contributions to our success, as well as for their leadership in several strategic and technology initiatives that strengthened the company’s growth outlook.”

“MultiPlan operates at the center of the healthcare ecosystem and is uniquely positioned to continue to expand its service offering and drive value and cost savings for its customers,” said Geoffrey Clark, Senior Managing Director of Starr Investment Holdings.

“In an environment of escalating medical costs, MultiPlan’s value proposition is increasingly critical and its innovative solutions ever more impactful to corporations and, more importantly, the lives of their employees,” said Joel Schwartz, a Managing Director of Partners Group in New York.

“It has been our privilege to partner with MultiPlan,” said Raymond Svider, Managing Partner of BC Partners, and Egon Durban, Managing Partner of Silver Lake. “Since our investment in 2010, MultiPlan has successfully integrated Viant and strengthened its foundation for long-term growth through enhanced technology capabilities, expanded customer relationships and deeper penetration into adjacent markets and new product lines.”

The transaction has fully committed financing from Barclays PLC and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

Barclays PLC, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Marwood Group LLC and KPMG LLP are advising Starr Investment Holdings, with King & Spalding LLP advising Partners Group.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, Goldman, Sachs & Co., RBC Royal Bank, Dean Bradley Osborne, LionTree Advisors LLC and The Raine Group LLC are advising MultiPlan, BC Partners and Silver Lake.

close

Combined company to provide a diverse scope of opportunities for clients across the international sports and entertainment ecosystem

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. and MENLO PARK, Calif., Dec. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — William Morris Endeavor Entertainment (WME), one of the world’s leading talent, entertainment and media companies, and Silver Lake, a global leader in technology investing, today announced an agreement to acquire IMG Worldwide (IMG). The company is a market leader in college and professional sports, event management, client representation, fashion and multi-media rights management.

“IMG has incredible strategic value to WME. The brand’s global reach, outstanding management team and leadership across sports, fashion and media are a strong complement to our business,” said WME Co-CEOs Patrick Whitesell and Ariel Emanuel. “We are honored to build on the legacy of founder Mark McCormack and recent owner Ted Forstmann. Supported by Silver Lake’s continued partnership, WME and IMG together will deliver a broad range of opportunities and resources to the companies and talent we collectively represent.”

The combination of WME and IMG creates a unique global sports and entertainment platform, operating across North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. WME and IMG together will have an unparalleled client roster; a broad relationship base with sponsors, brands and broadcasters; and marquee assets in sports, events, film and television, and fashion. Patrick Whitesell and Ariel Emanuel will serve as Co-CEOs of the combined company.

“IMG is well positioned in large and expanding end markets, with significant and untapped potential for growth. We look forward to building on IMG’s illustrious heritage by accelerating its existing growth plans and expanding the company’s digital platform,” said Egon Durban, Managing Partner of Silver Lake. “This investment extends our successful partnership with Ari, Patrick and the WME team as the company continues its transformation into an integrated player across the new media landscape.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Mubadala Development Company will be a minority investor in the transaction.

Silver Lake and WME were advised and financed by J.P. Morgan, Barclays, RBC Capital Markets and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and advised by The Raine Group, Dean Bradley Osborne, Lazard and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Evercore and Morgan Stanley served as the financial advisors to Forstmann Little.

close

ST. PETERS, Mo., Dec. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – SunEdison, Inc. (the “Company”) (NYSE: SUNE), announced today the pricing of its offering of $500 million aggregate principal amount of 2.00% convertible senior notes due 2018 (the “2018 notes”) and $500 million aggregate principal amount of 2.75% convertible senior notes due 2021 (the “2021 notes” and, together with the 2018 notes, the “notes”) in a private placement.  The offering was upsized from the previously announced $400 million aggregate principal amount of 2018 notes and $400 million aggregate principal amount of 2021 notes.  The notes will be offered by the initial purchasers only to qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). The offering is expected to close on December 20, 2013, subject to customary closing conditions.  The Company has also granted the initial purchasers a 30-day option to purchase an additional $100 million aggregate principal amount of each series of notes on the same terms and conditions.

Interest and Conversion Details

The 2018 notes will bear interest at a rate of 2.00% per year, payable semiannually in arrears on April 1 and October 1 of each year, or, if any such day is not a business day, the immediately following business day, beginning on April 1, 2014.  The 2021 notes will bear interest at a rate of 2.75% per year, payable semiannually in arrears on January 1 and July 1 of each year, or, if any such day is not a business day, the immediately following business day, beginning on July 1, 2014.  The 2018 notes and the 2021 notes will mature on October 1, 2018 and January 1, 2021, respectively, unless earlier converted or purchased.  The notes will be senior unsecured obligations of the Company.  The notes will be convertible, subject to certain conditions, into cash, or, subject to certain shareholder approval requirements, shares of common stock of the Company, or a combination of cash and shares of common stock, at the Company’s option.  The initial conversion rate for the notes will be 68.3796 shares of common stock (subject to adjustment in certain circumstances) per $1,000 principal amount of the notes, which is equal to an initial conversion price of approximately $14.62 per share, representing a conversion premium of approximately 27.5% above the closing price of the Company’s shares of common stock of $11.47 per share on December 12, 2013.

Net Proceeds and Their Intended Use

The Company estimates that the net proceeds from this offering will be approximately $974.2 million, after deducting the initial purchasers’ discount and estimated offering expenses (or approximately $1,169.2 million if the initial purchasers exercise their option to purchase additional notes in full), and the cost of the initial convertible note hedge transactions, described below (taking into account the proceeds received by the Company from entering into the warrant transactions, described below) is approximately $58.9 million.  If the initial purchasers exercise their option to purchase additional notes, the Company may use additional net proceeds from this offering to enter into additional convertible note hedge and warrant transactions.

The Company intends to use the proceeds of the offering, together with proceeds from the warrant transactions described below to: (1) redeem all $550 million outstanding aggregate principal amount of its 7.75% senior notes due 2019, as well as to pay fees, expenses and redemption premium related thereto; (2) repay all amounts borrowed under its $200 million second lien term loan with a current interest rate of 10.75%, as well as to pay fees, expenses and prepayment premium related thereto; (3) fund the cost of convertible note hedge transactions described below and (4) for general corporate purposes.

Privately Negotiated Convertible Hedge and Warrant Transactions

The Company has entered into convertible note hedge transactions with multiple counterparties, including the initial purchasers and/or their affiliates (the “hedge counterparties”) and in connection therewith, the Company has entered into separate privately negotiated warrant transactions with the hedge counterparties.  The strike price of the convertible note hedge transactions is initially equal the conversion price of the notes. The strike price of the warrant transactions related to the 2018 notes will initially be approximately $18.35 per share, which is approximately 60% above the closing sale price of the Company’s common stock on December 12, 2013.  The strike price of the warrant transactions related to the 2021 notes will initially be approximately $18.93 per share, which is approximately 65% above the closing sale price of the Company’s common stock on December 12, 2013.

These convertible note hedge transactions are expected to reduce the potential dilution with respect to the Company’s common stock upon conversion of the notes or offset any cash payments the Company is required to make in excess of the principal amount of converted notes, as the case may be, upon any conversion of notes; however, the warrant transactions could have a dilutive effect with respect to the Company’s common stock to the extent that the market price per share of the Company’s common stock exceeds the strike price of the warrants.

The Company has been advised that, in connection with establishing their initial hedge positions with respect to the convertible note hedge and warrant transactions, the hedge counterparties and/or their affiliates expect to purchase shares of the Company’s common stock or enter into various derivative transactions with respect to the Company’s common stock concurrently with, or shortly after, the pricing of the notes. These hedging activities could increase (or reduce the size of any decrease in) the market price of the Company’s common stock or the notes.

In addition, the hedge counterparties and/or their affiliates may modify their hedge positions (and are likely to do so during the conversion period related to any conversion of notes or following any repurchase of notes by the Company on any fundamental repurchase date or otherwise) by entering into or unwinding various derivatives with respect to the Company’s common stock or purchasing or selling common stock or other securities of the Company in secondary market transactions following the pricing of the notes and prior to the maturity of the notes.

General Conditions

Prior to July 1, 2018, in the case of the 2018 notes, and October 1, 2020, in the case of the 2021 notes, the notes will be convertible only upon the occurrence of certain events and periods, and thereafter, the notes will be convertible at any time prior to the second scheduled trading day prior to the applicable maturity date. The holders of the notes will have the ability to require the Company to repurchase all or a portion of their notes for cash in the event of certain fundamental changes. In such a case, the repurchase price will be 100% of the principal amount of the notes to be repurchased, plus any accrued and unpaid interest. In addition, upon certain make-whole adjustment events occurring prior to the maturity date of the notes, the Company will increase the conversion rate for holders of the notes who convert their notes in connection with that make-whole adjustment event.

The notes, and any shares of the Company’s common stock issuable upon conversion of the notes, have not been and will not be registered under the Securities Act, or any state securities law, and may not be offered or sold in the United States or to, or for the account or benefit of, any U.S. persons absent registration under the Securities Act, except pursuant to an applicable exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the registration requirements of the Securities Act and applicable state securities laws.  This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, including the notes or any shares of the Company’s common stock issuable upon conversion of the notes, nor shall there be any offer, solicitation or sale of any securities, including any notes or any shares of the Company’s common stock issuable upon conversion of the notes in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.

close

Dean Bradley Osborne Advises Silver Lake on Financing of Dell Buyout

September 12, 2013 – Dell today announced that, based on a preliminary vote tally from the special meeting of stockholders, Dell stockholders have approved the proposal in which Michael Dell, Dell’s Founder, Chairman and CEO, will acquire Dell in partnership with global technology investment firm Silver Lake Partners.

In connection with the transaction, Dell stockholders will receive $13.75 in cash for each share of Dell common stock they hold, plus payment of a special cash dividend of $0.13 per share to stockholders of record as of a date prior to the effective time of the merger, for total consideration of $13.88 per share in cash. The agreement also guarantees the regular quarterly dividend of $0.08 per share for the fiscal third quarter would be paid to holders of record as of a date prior to closing. The total transaction is valued at approximately $24.9 billion.

The preliminary vote tally shows that the transaction was approved by the holders of a majority of Dell’s outstanding shares, as required by Delaware law. In addition, the tally shows that the transaction was approved by the holders of a majority of Dell’s shares voting for or against the matter, excluding shares held by Mr. Dell, certain of his related family trusts, Dell’s Board of Directors and certain members of its management, as separately required under the merger agreement.

“I am pleased with this outcome and am energized to continue building Dell into the industry’s leading provider of scalable, end-to-end technology solutions,” said Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell. “As a private enterprise, with a strong private-equity partner, we’ll serve our customers with a single-minded purpose and drive the innovations that will help them achieve their goals.”

Mr. Dell continued, “I would like to thank our 110,000 team members around the world who, throughout this process, have remained focused on serving our customers with unity, purpose and pride. As our company continues to expand its enterprise solutions and services business, our team members will be Dell’s most valuable asset and the key to our future success.”

“Over the course of more than a year, the Special Committee and its advisors conducted a disciplined and independent process to ensure the best outcome for Dell stockholders,” said Alex Mandl, chairman of the Special Committee formed to evaluate the transaction and other strategic alternatives. “By voting in favor of the transaction, the stockholders have chosen the best option to maximize the value of their shares. I want to thank my fellow Committee members and the entire Board for their diligent and tireless efforts on behalf of Dell stockholders, and the stockholders themselves for the careful consideration they gave to this important matter.”

The transaction is expected to close before the end of the third quarter of Dell’s FY2014, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval. Dell will continue to be headquartered in Round Rock, Texas.

close

ST. PETERS, Mo., Sept. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – SunEdison, Inc. (the “Company”) (NYSE: SUNE) today announced the pricing of a public offering of 30,000,000 shares of common stock at a price of $7.25 per share. Closing of the offering is expected to occur on September 18, 2013, subject to customary closing conditions. The underwriters have been granted a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 4,500,000 shares of common stock from the Company, all at the offering price less the underwriting discount. The Company intends to use the net proceeds for general corporate purposes, which it expects to include funding working capital and growth initiatives. Deutsche Bank Securities and Goldman, Sachs & Co. are acting as lead book-running managers for the offering. Wells Fargo Securities is also acting as a book-running manager.

This offering is being made pursuant to a shelf registration statement which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) and became effective on September 9, 2013. A preliminary prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus relating to these securities has been filed with the SEC and is available on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov. Copies of the preliminary prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus relating to these securities may also be obtained by sending a request to: Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Attention: Prospectus Group, 60 Wall Street, New York, NY 10005-2836, telephone: (800) 503-4611, e-mail: ; Goldman, Sachs & Co., Attn: Prospectus Department, 200 West Street, New York, New York 10282, telephone: 866-471-2526, facsimile: 212-902-9316, e-mail: ; or Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Attn Equity Syndicate Dept., 375 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10152, telephone: (800) 503-4611, e-mail:

This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy the Company’s common stock or any other securities, and there shall not be any offer, solicitation or sale of securities mentioned in this press release in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of such any state or jurisdiction.

close

ST. PETERS, Mo., Aug. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – SunEdison, Inc. (NYSE: SUNE) announced today that its Board of Directors has unanimously approved an initial public offering of its semiconductor business to create SunEdison Semiconductor, Inc.  SunEdison plans to sell a minority ownership interest in the semiconductor business to the public. SunEdison expects to use proceeds from the separation to fund initiatives related to the solar business, to repay existing indebtedness and for general corporate purposes.

The newly formed SunEdison Semiconductor will operate as an independent company with a new board of directors.

“Today’s announcement represents the next evolution in our strategic plan to better position both our solar and semiconductor businesses for sustainable, long-term success,” said Ahmad Chatila, Chief Executive Officer of SunEdison. “This new structure will allow each independent company to pursue its shareholder value generating strategies, focus on key markets and customers, optimize capital structures, and enhance access to growth capital for each company in the years ahead.  Given the significant accomplishments of the businesses to date, it is the right time for this transaction which we believe maximizes value to our investors while benefiting our customers and employees.”

Transaction Details
SunEdison expects to file a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the third quarter of 2013, with the initial public offering scheduled by early 2014, subject to market conditions. A final decision regarding the amount of interest to be sold to the public at the time of the initial public offering will be determined by SunEdison’s Board of Directors at a date to be determined.

Completion of the initial public offering and related items are subject to certain customary conditions, including approval by SunEdison’s Board of Directors of the final terms of the initial public offering, receipt of all regulatory approvals, including the effectiveness of the registration statement filed with the SEC.

This press release is not an offer to sell or a solicitation of offers to buy any securities. If an initial public offering is made, such offers will be made only by a prospectus filed with the SEC.

close

Forbes: Dell to test Silver Lake’s skills as ‘undertaker’

By Richard Waters in San Francisco and Henny Sender in New York

In Silicon Valley, where investors worship at the altar of growth, Silver Lake Partners is an unusual animal.

“They’re the undertakers of the technology industry,” says one prominent Valley venture capitalist, expressing a common disdain locally for the profits the buyout house has wrung out of mature parts of the sector.

Now, with its plan to take struggling PC maker Dell private in the biggest ever tech buyout, Silver Lake is about to put to the test its 14 years of experience in conjuring profits out of buying companies that have missed the tide of tech history.

Applying the techniques of the buyout business to the tech sector has turned the California-based group into one of the most successful large US private equity houses, though it has also had some bumps along the road.

Its third investment fund, a $9.6bn pool of money raised in 2007, has made a net annualised return of 17 per cent as of the end of September, according to a letter sent to one of its investors. Silver Lake insiders have made substantially more: before fees and carried interest – the share of profits kept by the firm – the gross return on its 2007 fund is 26 per cent, according to the investor letter.

The returns help to explain why, at a time when some other buyout groups are struggling to raise large funds, Silver Lake has already hit the $7.5bn target for its latest fund and may add more before closing the round, according to a person familiar with its capital-raising.

The potential Dell bid, worth as much as $25bn, at a time most believe that the PC maker “is both on the wrong side of history and of technology,” as one rival buyout executive puts it, highlights the approach that has characterised Silver Lake’s deals.

Founded by a mix of financial and technology specialists – Oracle executive David Roux, tech banker Jim Davidson, Blackstone executive Glenn Hutchins and tech investor Roger McNamee – its counter-intuitive plan to bring private equity to bear on tech at the height of the dotcom bubble made it one of the few to specialise in the industry.

Its best-known deals have, like Dell, involved companies with well-established positions in their markets. The 2000 buyout of disc drive maker Seagate put Silver Lake on the map by producing a return of five times its investment. The acquisition of internet communications company Skype returned 3.1 times the investment in only 18 months.

Others in private equity claim to see little value in taking Dell private. “It is fairly valued,” says another private equity executive. “It has already been through major cost-cutting. What would we do that Michael Dell hasn’t already done?”

Greater experience in a single sector makes it more willing to back such deals, according to the Silver Lake’s supporters. “I used to think a single sector fund was risky,” says Mark Bradley, who formerly headed Morgan Stanley’s advisory practice dealing with private equity firms and is one of the co founders of San Francisco based banking boutique, DBO Partners. “But they have deep, deep sector expertise and phenomenal contacts.”

The returns have not been even. Silver Lake’s first fund brought its investors a net annual return of 25.1 per cent, according to figures published by Calpers, the California teachers pension fund. But its second fund has netted only 10 per cent, thanks to underperformers like Sungard Data Systems, at the time the largest tech buyout.

Weaker investments in its latest fund include small stakes in Zynga and Groupon, made shortly before those companies’ IPOs and subsequent share-price collapses.

If Silver Lake pulls off its attempt to lead a Dell buyout, it will cap the rise of a new generation at the firm – something few private equity houses beside Warburg Pincus have been able to manage. Of the founders, only Mr Davidson remains fully active, according to people who know the group.

In their place, a new group of younger executives have come to the fore and will share in a bigger share of Silver Lake’s profits than the founders: Egon Durban, responsible for the Skype deal; Ken Hao, who led the investment in Chinese commerce company Alibaba; Mike Bingle and Greg Mondre.

Whether a Dell deal, if completed, turns out to be a Seagate-like success or a flop like Sungard will go a long way to determining if Silver Lake’s new generation of dealmakers inherit the role of preferred undertakers to Silicon Valley.

close

Investment Banking Entrepreneur

 

Mark Bradley, BS 85

Founding Partner
Dean Bradley Osborne
San Francisco

Entrepreneurial ventures aren’t the exclusive territory of the young. After 25 years with Morgan Stanley, Mark Bradley and a handful of partners peeled off earlier this year to start a boutique investment bank, Dean Bradley Osborne (DBO)—and quickly put together deals worth billions.

To Bradley, DBO is a return to the purer form of investment banking that he joined after graduating from Berkeley in 1985. At the time, says Bradley, “Morgan Stanley was a true investment bank; investment banking made up 75 percent of its revenue.” Now it’s less than 15 percent. This is where DBO sees an opening: “We can give CEOs the kind of personal focus, senior-level attention they deserve, without any biases or conflicts.”

Already, DBO has managed a $1.5 billion merger of San Francisco engineering firm URS and Canada’s Flint Energy; shepherded a $225 million investment into troubled nut company Diamond Foods; and worked on private equity firm Silver Lake Partners’ investment in the William Morris Endeavor talent agency. “We’re not a boutique firm that only does deals the big banks don’t want to do,” Bradley says.

Perched high in an office in Embarcadero Center with sweeping bay views, Bradley is a world away from his childhood in Hawaii. “I wouldn’t be anywhere near here if not for my time at Haas,” he says.

He traces his entrepreneurial drive, meanwhile, to his mother, who started a business from scratch and turned it into the biggest Hawaiian real estate firm of its time. He says, “Everything I’ve learned about business started with her.”

close