Silver Lake Seeks $7.5B For Fund IV

Firm: Silver Lake Partners

Fund: Silver Lake IV

Target: $7.5 billion

Silver Lake Partners is raising its fourth flagship fund, coming off some mega-exits for technology and consumer Internet companies in its portfolio, sister Web site peHub reported. According to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the buyout shop is going to raise a $7.5 billion fund for its fourth vehicle.

To be clear: Silver Lake IV is different from another fund that some of the firm’s partners joined in for earlier this year, called the Silver Lake Waterman Fund, which will be a $75 million vehicle based in California. It was also reported previously by LBO Wire that the investment firm’s Silver Lake Kraftwerk fund had raised $350 million toward its first vehicle. Finally, there is also the firm’s Silver Lake Sumeru fund, a mid-market vehicle.

The three prior Silver Lake Partners funds were for approximately $2.3 billion, $3.6 billion, and then, as the height of the buyout boom approached, the buyout shop reeled in nearly $10 billion for its third vehicle, which closed in 2007, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Silver Lake Partners’ Fund I generated an investment multiple of 2.4x, its second fund generated an investment multiple of 1.5x, as did its 2007 fund, according to data from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. Still, it is likely too early to begin gauging the shop’s third vehicle.

It isn’t exactly easy to tell what Silver Lake is still backing—more than a year ago, the shop dealt its stake in e-messenger Skype to Microsoft in a deal that reaped a huge haul (but it’s still listed as an asset at its Web site). Also still listed as ongoing investments for Silver Lake are Groupon and Zynga, although both have gone public and, in Groupon’s case, its IPO lockup for early investors already has passed. Silver Lake exited some of its holding in Zynga when that company’s secondary offering took place earlier this spring.

Despite the fact that many firms have gone public and flopped, the tea leaves might suggest that Silver Lake GPs could ready the firm for an IPO of its own. Like prior buyout shops that have found their way to public listings, Silver Lake counts CalPERS among its investors—and, judging by a comparison of its third and fourth funds’ leadership rosters, its senior ranks are growing.

(Jonathan Marino is editor/columnist for peHub.)