Providence Equity Partners

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Providence Equity Partners LLC
Limited liability company
Industry Private equity
Founded 1989
Founder Jonathan M. Nelson, CEO
Headquarters 50 Kennedy Plaza
Providence, Rhode Island
Key people
Glenn M. Creamer, Senior Managing Director
Paul J. Salem, Senior Managing Director
Products Leveraged buyouts, Growth capital
Total assets $40 billion
Number of employees

Providence Equity Partners LLC is an American global private equity investment firm focused on media, communications, education and information investments. The firm specializes in leveraged buyout transactions as well as growth capital investments and has invested in more than 140 companies globally since its inception in 1989.[1][2]

The firm manages funds with over $40 billion in commitments, making it a large global player in the private equity industry. The firm also invests in credit funds through its Capital Markets group and affiliate, Benefit Street Partners.[3][4] Benefit Street Partners closed on a $1.75 billion middle market direct lending fund in April 2014.[5][6] Providence was one of the principal pioneers of a sector-based approach to private equity investing. The firm’s sixth fund, Providence Equity Partners VI, closed on $12 billion in 2007,[7] making it the largest sector-focused private equity fund ever raised.[8]

Providence is headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island with five additional offices in New York, London, Hong Kong, Beijing and New Delhi.

Group Affiliate: Benefit Street Partners[edit]

Providence is a premier global asset management firm with $45 billion in assets under management across complementary private equity and credit businesses.

Providence pioneered a sector-focused approach to private equity investing with the vision that a dedicated team of industry experts could build exceptional companies of enduring value. Since the firm’s inception in 1989, Providence has invested in over 150 companies and became the leading equity investment firm focused on the media, communications, education and information industries.


At Providence, being a good corporate citizen is core to our investment philosophy and we believe that it ultimately creates more attractive returns for our investors.


With over 250 employees, senior advisors and operating partners, our team works collaboratively from offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Logo of Benefit Street Partners[edit]

The logotype of Benefit Street Partners has been upgraded in 2013 on a world wide contest. The selected logo represents the soul and mission of the firm, using its colors as a statement of loyalty and a street lamp, located nearby the head quarters of Benefit. The logo was designed by an Architect from Mexico, named Renán Tlacaélel. The name Tlacaelel means "Working Man", and the name itself has aztec origins.

Official logo of Benefit Street Partners

Providence Equity L.L.C, 9 West 57th Street, Suite 4700. New York, NY 10019. Tel +1 212 588 6700 - Fax +1 212 588 6701

Benefit Street Partners L.L.C, 9 West 57th Street, Suite 4920, New York, NY 10019. Tel +1 212 588 6770 - Fax +1 212 588 6769


History of Providence Equity[edit]

Providence is led by Founder and CEO Jonathan M. Nelson and Senior Managing Director Paul J. Salem. The firm raises investment funds from a broad array of institutional investors, including pension funds, endowments, sovereign wealth funds, financial institutions, insurance companies, fund of funds, and high-net-worth individuals.

Providence partners with companies across different stages in their development, from growth capital and complex recapitalizations of family-owned businesses to large buyouts and take-privates. The firm targets equity investments of $150 million to $800 million and can employ a variety of financing structures.[1] Providence prefers to lead its investments, serve on company boards, and work collaboratively with company management.[9]

In 2008, Providence hired Thomas Gahan as president of the firm’s new capital markets group.[10] Prior to joining Providence, Mr. Gahan was head of Deutsche Bank’s corporate and investment banking in the Americas and chief executive officer of Deutsche Bank Securities. The credit platform has 18 investment professionals based in the firm’s New York office.[11]

Providence’s investments have included Group, Blackboard Inc., eircom, Hulu, Kabel Deutschland, MLS Media, NEW Asurion, Newport Television, Univision, VoiceStream (now T-Mobile US), Warner Music Group, Western Wireless, and World Triathlon Corporation (Ironman), YES Network, and ZeniMax Media.[12]

Since 2010, significant investments by the firm include RentPath, Ambassador Theatre Group, Miller Heiman, Learfield Communications, The Chernin Group, GLM, UFO Moviez, Study Group, and Abacus Data Systems.[13][14][15][16][17] Providence’s recent exits by sale or IPO include iQivi, Hulu, YES Network, Decision Recourses, MobileServ (Phones 4U), Bresnan Communications, and Kabel Deutschland.[1][18][19][20] Providence Strategic Growth, the firm’s lower midmarket and growth equity arm, invested in Burning Glass Technologies in June 2015.[21] In March 2013, Providence and the National Football League formed a global partnership to invest primarily in sports and entertainment related media assets.[22]

In September 2012, Providence sold a less than 10% stake in the firm to Florida’s state pension system and a sovereign wealth fund.[23]

Major losses[edit]

In 2010, Providence lost hundreds of millions of dollars when Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer went bankrupt.[24]

In 2014, Providence lost its entire $460 million investment in Education Management Corporation after that company faced multiple investigations.[24][25]

In 2014, Providence lost $400 million on the Dutch child-care group Estro.[26]

A $675 million stake in NexTag was written down to zero in 2014.[24][27]

In February 2015, Providence lost $800 million when Altegrity filed for bankruptcy after fraud accusations.[24]

These poor investments caused Providence to deliver "dismal" returns.[24]

Senior Advisors[edit]

Senior Advisors that work with the firm on new investment opportunities and certain of the firm’s existing investments, include:


  1. ^ a b c "Company Overview of Providence Equity Partners LLC". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 2012-09-21. 
  2. ^ "Providence Equity buys Star India's stake in Star CJ". afaqs!. June 6, 2014. 
  3. ^ Ken MacFadyen (January 21, 2010). "Providence Expands Capital Markets Arm". Leveraged Finance News. 
  4. ^ Julie Segal (November 12, 2014). "Tommy Gahan Wants to Capitalize on Volatility". Institutional Investor (magazine). 
  5. ^ Matthew Sheahan (April 10, 2014). "Benefit Street Closes $1.75B Credit Fund". Leveraged Finance News. 
  6. ^ Chris Witkowsky (April 10, 2014). "Providence Equity debt arm hits $1.75 bln hard cap on Fund III". PeHUB. 
  7. ^ "Providence Equity Raises $12 Billion Buyout Fund". The New York Times. February 21, 2007. 
  8. ^ "Private Equity International magazine's ranking of the world's largest private equity firms.". PEI - Alternative Insight. May 1, 2008. 
  9. ^ "About Us". Retrieved 2012-09-14. 
  10. ^ "Movers & shakers: Sept. 26, 2008". The Deal (magazine). September 26, 2008. 
  12. ^ Phil Wahba (June 25, 2014). "Private equity fuels Ironman triathlon organizer's gauntlet". Fortune. 
  13. ^ Bob O’Brien (October 22, 2014). "TPG sells stake in RentPath to Providence". The Deal (magazine). 
  14. ^ Anne-Sylvaine Chassany (October 21, 2013). "Providence buys Ambassador Theatre Group for £350m". Financial Times. 
  15. ^ LEARFIELD MEDIA SERVICES (September 10, 2013). "Shamrock Capital to sell Learfield to Providence Equity". The Southern Illinoisan. 
  16. ^ "Providence Equity Partners Acquires Miller Heiman". PR Newswire. January 9, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Abacus Data Systems Announces Strategic Investment by Providence Equity to Fuel Growth and Innovation". Abacus Law. December 15, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Recent News". Retrieved 2012-09-14. 
  19. ^ "Baidu Buys from Providence Equity". PE HUB. November 2, 2012. 
  20. ^ Andy Fixmer (October 13, 2012). "Providence Said to Sell 10% Hulu Stake for $200 Million". Bloomberg Businessweek. 
  21. ^ Laura Kreutzer (June 25, 2015). "Providence Growth Arm Backs Burning Glass Technologies". Dow Jones & Company. 
  22. ^ Nadia Damouni (March 18, 2013). "NFL, Providence Equity form strategic investment partnership". Reuters. 
  23. ^ "Providence Equity Said to Sell Stake in Firm to Investors". Bloomberg Businessweek. September 25, 2012. 
  24. ^ a b c d e Creswell, Julie (2015-04-26). "The Private Equity Firm that Grew Too Fast". The New York Times. 
  25. ^ Scurria, Andrew (2014-08-24). "Education Management restructures to dump 1.1 billion in debt". 
  26. ^ "Biggest Dutch childcare group Estro on verge of bankruptcy". Dutch News. 2014-07-04. 
  27. ^ "Providence-Backed Nextag Faces September Deadline to Raise New Capital". Dow Jones and Company. 2014-05-16. 

External links[edit]