|Type||Limited liability company|
|Headquarters||John Hancock Tower
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
|Key people||C. Kevin Landry, Chairman|
|Products||Growth capital, Leveraged buyouts, Recapitalizations|
|Total assets||$18 billion|
|History of private equity
and venture capital
|(Origins of modern private equity)|
|(Leveraged buyout boom)|
|(Leveraged buyout and the venture capital bubble)|
|(Dot-com bubble to the credit crunch)|
TA Associates, founded in 1968, is one of early modern-era private equity firms in the United States. The firm employs a hybrid strategy making growth capital investments in developing companies and acquiring mature companies through leveraged buyout and recapitalization transactions. TA Associates has invested across a range of industries including technology, healthcare, consumer products, financial services and business services.
The firm manages approximately $18 billion of committed capital, including over $6 billion in actively investing funds. Since its founding in 1968, TA has been a lead investor and director in more than 400 companies. TA has been ranked among the 50 largest private equity firms (ranked 45 in 2012) globally.
TA Associates was founded in 1968 by Peter Brooke with the backing of his former firm, Tucker, Anthony & RL Day, an investment banking and brokerage firm. Prior to founding TA, from 1963 to 1968, Brooke had headed the corporate finance and venture capital activities of Tucker Anthony. Previously, Brooke had been responsible for expanding the private equity activities of Bessemer Securities and had founded the High Technology Lending Group of First National Bank of Boston. At the time it was founded, the firm focused primarily on making venture capital investments in earlier stage companies.
The firm expanded significantly through the 1970s growing from $5 million of capital in 1969 to $125 million by the beginning of the 1980s, making TA the largest independent venture capital firm in a 1980 ranking. Through the 1970s, the firm's investments averaged 30% to 40% annually. Among the firm's notable investments of the 1970s were Biogen, Artificial Intelligence Software, Immunogen and Digital Research
As the 1980s developed, TA found itself increasingly investing larger amounts in more mature, profitable companies as opposed to the small early stage investments in start-up companies that had characterized the firm's first decade and a half. By the mid-1980s, the firm was no longer describing itself as a "venture capital firm", instead using the more general "private equity" description. By the early 1990s the firm found itself rarely investing in early stage start-up companies, focusing primarily on later-stage growth capital investments in more mature businesses.
In 2012 TA Associates leadership began financially supporting various conservative political action groups backing candidates in favor of repealing the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act publicly claiming it was "government regulation run amok." TA chairman Kevin Landry is among of the leading Super PAC donors to the 2012 Mitt Romney presidential campaign. Landry told the Boston Globe the Dodd-Frank legislation costs TA more than $600,000 a year in compliance-related costs which would be better spent supporting job growth fueled by private equity firms such as Bain Capital and TA Associates.
In 1979, TA's Craig Burr and William P. Egan left to found venture capital firm, Burr, Egan, Deleage & Co.. BEDCO would itself give rise to a group of notable successor firms Alta Partners, Alta Communications and Polaris Venture Partners, which can trace their lineage to TA.
In 1984, TA's founder, Peter Brooke founded Advent International which is today among the largest global private equity firms. Also in 1984, Stephen Woodsum and E. Roe Stamps decided to leave TA to form Summit Partners. Two years later, in 1986, the firm's media group, led by David Croll, completed a spin-out to form Media/Communications Partners, which would later rename itself M/C Partners.
In 1994, General Partner Brion Applegate and Bill Collatos left to found private equity firm, Spectrum Equity Investors.
- A Short (Sometimes Profitable) History of Private Equity, Wall Street Journal, January 17, 2012.
- About TA
- PEI 300, Top 50, Private Equity International, May 2012.
- Venture Capitalists' New Role. New York Times, August 31, 1981
- Gupta, Udayan. Done deals. 2000
- Mitt Romney mum on how to regulate big banks, Boston Globe, May 2, 2012.
- Tea Party super PAC pours funds into congressional races, Boston Globe, June 6, 2012.
- Romney foes put Bain on defensive, Boston Globe, January 11, 2012.
- The Thrill of Defeat. The Boston Globe, February 5, 2001
- TA Associates (company website)