About Silver Lake Partners
Silver Lake Partners is a private equity firm that focuses on just one discipline: technology. This “stick to what you know” attitude has paid off handsomely for Silver Lake and its founders. The firm was started in 1999; just before tech investments hit their peak, giving the startup private equity company the ability to capitalize on investments in industry leaders such as Avaya, Intelsat, IPC and NASDAQ OMX. The investment strategies of Silver Lake are delegated to a certain specialization, with Silver Lake Partners focusing on technology industry leaders, Silver Lake Sumeru handling middle-market technology and Silver Lake Financial covering the area of credit.
In the past several years, Silver Lake Partners has proved itself to be a leader in the field of technology focused on private equity investments by completing some of the biggest tech acquisitions in history. These purchases include the joint acquisition (with Bain, Goldman Sachs, Providence Equity, KKR, TPG and Blackstone) of SunGard Data Systems for $11.4 billion, the acquisition of Serena Software for $1.2 billion and the 2006 purchase of NXP Semiconductor for $8 billion. In 2009, Silver Lake led a group of investors in the acquisition of 65 percent of Skype Technologies, the manufacturer and developer of Skype software. The investment was worth approximately $1.9 billion.
The new generation
David J. Roux, James A. Davidson, Roger McNamee and Glenn Hutchins came up with the idea for Silver Lake Partners in December 1998 on a ski trip to Deer Valley Utah. These industry insiders were called “the four amigos” as they strengthen the Silver Lake empire with huge investments from technology bigwigs like Larry Ellison and Bill Gates.
In 2007, Silver Lake Partners became the clear-cut leader in technology focused on private equity investments, with the success attributed to the hard work of a new and younger quartet. Dealmaker magazine dubbed the four Silver Lake employees under the age of 40 as “the new four amigos.” These young managing directors are Mike Bingle, Egon Durbin, Greg Mondre and Kenneth Hao. They have been credited with being the genius behind the success of the $11.4 billion SunGard deal of 2005, as well as the success of more recent deals such as the $8 billion buyout of Avaya. The four youngsters are spread far and wide, heading up the worldwide operations of Silver Lake; Hao is the firm’s director managing Asian operations, Durban leads European operations out of the London office, while Bingle and Mondre hold the fort in the New York office. These “new amigos” credit Silver Lake with allowing them to rise to power at such a young age, “By virtue of Silver Lake’s structure and the unique culture of the firm, our experience is a lot greater than our ages would suggest,” Mondre told Dealmaker.
Retirees to the rescue
Silver Lake gained itself a powerful new partner in January 2008 when the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CALpers) agreed to buy 9.9 percent of the private equity firm for $275 million. CALpers and Silver Lake Partners’ relationship stretches back to the firm’s first fund in 1999, to which CALpers committed $73 million. Reports from research firm Private Equity Intelligence (now called Preqin) show that CALpers has committed $400 million to Silver Lake’s latest fund which is expected to raise approximately $8 billion. CALpers has a record of taking a keen interest in the private equity business, it is also a partial owner of both the leveraged buyout firm Apollo Management and the private equity behemoth The Carlyle Group.
2725 Sand Hill Road
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Phone: (650) 233-8120
Employer Type: Private
Chairman: James A. Davidson
2006 Employees (All Locations): 23