Providence Targets $10B For New Fund

Providence Equity Partners is raising a $10 billion new fund, just two years after raising its previous vehicle, said two people familiar with the situation. It’s the firm’s sixth fund and a huge increase in size from its $4.25 billion fifth fund which closed in the fall of 2004.

The fund is the latest example of mega buyout funds returning to market rapidly after raising sizeable funds within the last few years. Bain Capital re-upped with an $8 billion ninth fund this year, along with a $2 billion co-investment fund, after raising $3.5 billion in 2004. Goldman Sachs Capital Partners meanwhile is rumored to have quickly unloaded the $8.5 billion it raised in 2004 and be targeting around $10 billion for its sixth fund.

Providence’s 2004 fundraise was rapid. Demand for the fund was so high that the that firm didn’t even have to send out a PPM, let alone hire a placement agent, according to a story published in Buyouts at the time. Details weren’t immediately available on what stage the current fundraising drive is in or how quickly it will go. Calls to a spokesman and to Providence Equity weren’t immediately returned.

Providence, which is based in Providence, R.I. and focusses on media and communications companies, has been part of some of the most publicized deals in recent private equity history and is known for its penchant for club deals. Recent transactions include combining with Goldman for the largest ever education deal, the $3.4 billion buyout of Education Management Corp. It also was in the club deals for PanAmSat Corp, Freedom Communications, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Auna Group’s fixed-line and cable business. It went solo this year with the $500 million buyout of Kabel Deutschland.

Debevoise & Plimpton advised Providence on Fund V. Previous Providence limited partners are Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, TIAA-CREF, Rhode Island State Treasury and Harvard Management Co.—M.C.