Chip Schorr, widely viewed in the market as a pioneering technology dealmaker, left One Equity Partners, sources told Buyouts.
A senior managing director and head of tech investing at OEP for almost nine years, Schorr departed this month, according to his LinkedIn profile.
He is expected to remain “an active technology investor,” sources said, with the aim of launching a new private equity firm “in the very near future.”
In an e-mail to colleagues, seen by Buyouts, Schorr said he will stay involved with OEP portfolio companies “to help maximize the value of those investments” for LPs. They include the recently backed CloudOne Digital, a cloud-hosting sector consolidator, and Mythics, a public sector IT services provider.
Schorr’s career as a tech investor stretches back nearly three decades.
Beginning as an executive at CVC Capital Partners – then a subsidiary of Citigroup – he led the 1997 acquisition of Fairchild Semiconductor for $550 million, thought by many to be private equity’s first tech LBO.
With more such deals under his belt – such as AMI Semiconductors, Intersil and MagnaChip Semiconductors – Schorr was in 2005 hired by Blackstone as a senior managing director in the private equity group. At the time, CEO Steve Schwarzman said, “Chip is a superstar in his field.”
At Blackstone, Schorr’s deals included the 2006 acquisition of Travelport, a travel-booking software business, from Cendant for $4.3 billion.
In 2011, Schorr departed Blackstone to found Augusta Columbia Capital, later combined with OEP.
Schorr was a key player at OEP, sources said, taking it “from basically zero investments in tech” to a substantial and differentiated position in the market. This is reflected in the outsized performance of these investments.
A number of OEP’s tech-related exits realized multiples on invested capital of 4x to 5x or better, sources said. Among them is ePak, a semiconductor transfer and handling products supplier, which earned a roughly 5x multiple when sold in 2021, PE Hub reported.
Schorr left OEP in part because of “a hard belief” that technology was where “the firm should be focusing” going forward, sources said. This is perhaps suggested in his e-mail to colleagues, in which Schorr shared some of his “investing lessons.”
“One of the most important,” he said, “is never invest in the present or the past, invest in the future. Think deeply about where the world is going, not where it has been or where it is at a single instant.”
Spun out of JPMorgan in 2015, OEP is a control investor in mid-market companies operating in healthcare, industrial and technology sectors in North America and Europe. It closed an eighth flagship fund in 2022, securing $2.75 billion.
As it happens, OEP this week signaled a major change in leadership. Greg Belinfanti, an 18-year veteran of the firm, was named president, succeeding founder Dick Cashin, who will continue as chairman.
OEP declined to provide a comment on this story.
(This story was updated to remove a reference to the state of the firm post-Schorr’s departure.)