Francisco Partners wants to be the patron saint of companies at a crossroads. The company invests in public and private technology companies that are past their start-up stage, but are at a transition point such as a management change or a merger. It works closely with venture capital firm Sequoia Capital to identify possible investment targets. Founded in 1999, Francisco Partners has raised some $7 billion in committed capital; typical investments range from $25 million to $500 million per transaction. Its portfolio includes stakes in some 50 companies such as Blue Coat, GXS, QuadraMed, and WebTrends. Founder David Stanton previously led tech investing for Texas Pacific Group from 1994 to 1999.
Francisco Partners focuses on the hardware systems, semiconductors, and software and services sectors. It specializes in growth equity investments, divisional buyouts, and going-private transactions. An active investor, it provides strategic and financial counsel to its portfolio companies. It closed its third middle-market technology fund in 2011 with some $2 billion of committed capital.
In 2012 Francisco Partners bought Ichor Systems, a maker of process tools, gas delivery modules, and chemical delivery modules. The previous year, the company acquired control of business software firm eFront and teamed with Golden Gate Capital and Thoma Bravo (through their Attachmate venture) to acquire network systems firm Novell. Acquisitions in 2010 included EF Johnson Technologies, a maker of radio-security systems, and the purchase of Source Photonics, which makes optical components used in communications systems, from MRV Communications for some $146 million.
Also in 2011 the Francisco Partners sold AdvancedMD to Automatic Data Processing. Later that year, portfolio company Specific Media made a splash when it acquired social media website Myspace from News Corp. Movie and pop music star Justin Timberlake also participated in the deal, which was estimated to be in the $30 million to $40 million dollar range.
▲ Show Less▼ Show Full Description