Silver Lake (investment firm)

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Silver Lake Management
IndustryPrivate equity
Founded1999; 24 years ago (1999)
HeadquartersMenlo Park, California, United States
Number of locations
Multiple offices in 3 countries
Key people
  • Ken Hao (chairman)
  • Mike Bingle (vice chairman)
  • Egon Durban (co-CEO)
  • Greg Mondre (co-CEO)
  • Joe Osnoss (managing partner)
AUMUS$92 billion (2022)[1]

Silver Lake is an American global private equity firm focused on investments in technology, technology-enabled and related industries. Founded in 1999, the firm is one of the largest technology investors in the world. Its investment holdings have included Airbnb, Alibaba Group,, Broadcom, Credit Karma, City Football Group, Dell Technologies, Endeavor, Expedia Group, Fanatics, First Advantage, Flixbus, Global Blue, GoDaddy, Jio, Lightbox, Motorola Solutions, New Zealand Rugby, NortonLifeLock, Red Ventures, Sabre Corporation, Skype, SoFi, GLG, Seagate Technology, SolarWinds, TEG, Twitter, Unity Technologies, Waymo, Weld North Education, WP Engine, Vacasa, the A-League football competition in Australia, and ZPG. Silver Lake is headquartered in Silicon Valley, and has offices in New York, London and Hong Kong.


Silver Lake was founded in 1999, at the height of the late 1990s technology boom to make private equity investments in mature technology companies as opposed to the startups pursued actively by venture capitalists. Among the firm's founders were[2] Jim Davidson who had led the Technology Investment Banking business at Hambrecht & Quist; David Roux who had an operational and entrepreneurial background having served as chairman and CEO of Liberate Technologies, executive vice president at Oracle Corporation and senior vice president at Lotus Development; Roger McNamee, as the representative of Integral Capital Partners, a hybrid investment fund that made investments in publicly traded companies and venture capital investments in early-stage startups; and Glenn Hutchins, who came from Blackstone Group and served as a Special Advisor on economic and healthcare policy in the early Clinton Administration and previously worked at Thomas H. Lee Partners.[3]

The firm raised its first fund, Silver Lake Partners, with $2.3 billion of investor commitments. Silver Lake's first fund was among the best performing funds of its vintage.

The firm's second fund, Silver Lake Partners II was raised in 2004 with $3.6 billion of commitments.[4]

The firm's third fund, Silver Lake Partners III was raised in 2007 with $9.6 billion of commitments.[5] Also in 2007, the firm launched a middle-market investment business, Silver Lake Sumeru, hiring Ajay Shah and the former investment team of Shah Capital Partners. Sumeru completed fundraising for its debut fund in 2008 with $1.1 billion of capital.[6]

In 2011, Silver Lake Kraftwerk was launched to provide growth capital to later-stage companies in technology and tech-enabled businesses across the operations, energy, and resources industries.[7]

In 2013, the firm raised its fourth fund, Silver Lake Partners IV, which closed in 2013 with $10.3 billion in committed capital.

In 2017, the firm raised its fifth fund, Silver Lake Partners V, which closed at $15 billion of commitments. Jim Davidson retired from the managing partner committee.[7]

In September 2020, it was announced that Silver Lake was having negotiations to invest over $1 billion in Indian retail company Reliance Retail.[8]

In 2021, Silver Lake purchased a minority 33.3% stake in the Australian Professional Leagues, otherwise known as the APL.[9] The group is responsible for organising Australia's national association football leagues, being the A-League Men, A-League Women and A-League Youth. Silver Lake has estimated the value of the APL and its affiliate holdings at over US$300 million.[10]

Key personnel[edit]

In December 2019, Silver Lake appointed Egon Durban and Greg Mondre as Co-CEOs and promoted Joe Osnoss to managing partner. Silver Lake announced Ken Hao as chairman and Mike Bingle vice chairman and managing partner emeritus, with the launch of Silver Lake Partners VI.[11][12]


Since 1999, Silver Lake made investments through leveraged buyout transactions, minority growth investments and private investment in public equity (PIPE) investments. The following table details some of Silver Lake's private equity investments:

Investment Year Sector Company description Reference
Integrity 2021 Insurtech In December 2021, Silver Lake Invested $1.2 billion [13]
A League 2021 Sports In December 2021, Silver Lake acquired a 33.3% shareholding [14]
Group 42 2021 Information technology In April 2021, Silver Lake announced an investment of around $800 million to Group 42, a major part of the Emirates’ Covid-19 response and vaccination programme. [15][16]
Klarna 2020 Financial In September 2020, Silver Lake made investments in Klarna Bank totaling a reported $500 million, for less than 5 percent a stake. [17]
Jio 2020 E-commerce In May 2020, Silver Lake invested a reported $753 million in Reliance Retail's digital unit, Jio. In June 2020, Silver Lake invested another reported $602 million in the company. [18]
Expedia Group 2020 E-commerce On April 23, 2020, Silver Lake and Apollo Global Management, Inc. anchored Expedia Group's $3.2 billion new capital raising. [19]
Airbnb 2020 E-commerce On April 6, 2020, Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners invested $1 billion. [20]
Twitter 2020 Social media On March 9, 2020, Silver Lake made a $1 billion investment. [21]
Waymo 2020 Autonomous driving On March 2, 2020, Silver Lake led Waymo's first external investment round. [22]
First Advantage 2019 Worker analysis On November 27, 2019, Silver Lake agreed to acquire First Advantage from Symphony Technology Group (STG) for $1.25 billion. [23]
City Football Group 2019 Sports On November 27, 2019, Silver Lake announced a definitive agreement to make a $500 million equity investment in City Football Group. [24]
Verily 2019 Biotechnology On January 3, 2019, Silver Lake led a $1 billion investment round in Alphabet's subsidiary. [25]
ServiceMax 2018 Information technology On December 13, 2018, GE Digital announced its intention to sell the majority of ServiceMax to Silver Lake Partners, while retaining a minority stake of 10% in the future of the company. [26]
AMC 2018 Entertainment On September 14, 2018, Silver Lake Alpine invested $600 million. [27]
GoodRx 2018 Telemedicine In 2018, Silver Lake bought a reported 35.3% of equity in GoodRx, valuing the company at a reported $2.8 billion. In 2020, Silver Lake invested another $100 million into GoodRx through a private placement set to the price of GoodRx's IPO. [28]
Ant Group 2018 Financial In 2018, Silver Lake made investments in Ant Group totaling a reported $500 million. In 2020, as Ant Group approached its IPO, the company was reportedly worth $210 billion in comparison to its 2018 reported worth of $150 billion. This increase would create a 40% return for these funds if they were to sell in the IPO at that valuation. [29]
Credit Karma 2018 Financial On March 28, Silver Lake made a $500 million secondary investment. [30]
Blackhawk Network 2018 E-commerce On January 16, 2018, Silver Lake and P2 Capital Partners purchased Blackhawk Network, a company offering prepaid gift, reward and incentive technologies and solutions. [31]
WP Engine 2018 Information technology On January 4, 2018, Silver Lake invested $250 million in WP Engine, a WordPress digital experience platform. [32]
Cornerstone OnDemand 2017 Worker management On November 8, 2017, Silver Lake Alpine led a $300 million investment in Cornerstone OnDemand, a cloud-based learning and human capital management software company. [33]
Unity Technologies 2017 Game engine On May 24, 2017, Silver Lake announced an investment in Unity [34]
SoFi 2017 Financial On February 24, 2017, Silver Lake led a $500 million Series F financing round. [35]
Ancestry 2016 Genealogy On April 1, 2016, Silver Lake and GIC made an investment in Ancestry, the online family history data and personal DNA testing company. [36]
Symantec 2016 Cybersecurity On February 4, 2016, Silver Lake made a strategic investment of $500 million in Symantec. On June 13, 2016, it was announced that Symantec would acquire Blue Coat, and Silver Lake invested another $500 million in conjunction with the transaction. [37]
SolarWinds 2015 Information technology On October 21, 2015, Silver Lake purchased SolarWinds for $60.10 per share, giving the company a total equity value of $4.5 billion. In October 2018, SolarWinds went public through an IPO. [38]
EMC 2015 Information technology On 12 October 2015, EMC announced that they had agreed on a buy-out by Michael Dell and Silver Lake for $33.15 per share in a complicated cash transaction which included tracking stock in VMware, which remained a publicly traded company. The deal, when completed, totaled $67 billion, the largest technology buyout ever. Dell continues to hedge its bets that mergers are the way to expand the company when others are betting that spinoffs and smaller companies are better.[39]
Motorola 2015 Information technology On August 5, 2015, Silver Lake invested $1 billion in Motorola to help the company make new partnerships, investments, and acquisitions for its public safety solutions and services businesses. Motorola also used a portion of the investment to fund a share buyback. [40]
Dell 2013 Information technology On February 5, 2013, Dell announced that it had agreed on a buy-out by Michael Dell and Silver Lake for $13.65 per share in cash. The shares of founder and CEO Michael Dell and some of its key management were not included in this purchase. Microsoft additionally provided $2 billion in the form of a loan to assist with the buy-out.[41][42] Upon completion of the deal Dell de-listed from NASDAQ and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and became fully privately owned company as it was before its first initial public offering. According to Michael Dell, this move made it easier to work on a long-term growth strategy as the company could make choices that would payout on the longer term, without the need the address to demands of (short term) individual share-holders.[41] The deal was completed on October 30, 2013, and at $24.4 billion was then the largest technology buyout ever, surpassing the 2006 buyout of Freescale Semiconductor for $17.5 billion.[43] Other smaller investors were MSD Capital, an investment firm established to manage the wealth of Michael Dell, and Microsoft with its $2 billion loan, and there were several debt-facilities from banks like Barclays, Credit Suisse, Bank of America and Royal Bank of Canada.[44] In December 2018, Dell shareholders agreed to a proposal by Dell to engage in a reverse merger with the tracking stock tied to its interest in software provider VMware in which existing holders were invited to cash out some or all of their interest. Dell Technologies is now a public company again.
Global Blue 2012 Financial On May 24, 2012, Silver Lake acquired Global Blue, a leading VAT services provider in Europe, for around €1 billion. [45]
Endeavor 2012 Sports and entertainment On May 2, 2012, Silver Lake acquired a minority stake in William Morris Endeavor (WME). In December 2013, WME and Silver Lake announced they would acquire IMG. In July 2016, Silver Lake helped back WME-IMG's acquisition of UFC. In October 2017, WME-IMG announced the formation of a new holding company, Endeavor, which took on the full portfolio of owned and operated brands formerly under the WME-IMG banner. [46]
Alibaba 2011 E-commerce In 2011 and 2012, Silver Lake made investments in Alibaba totaling a reported $500 million. In September 2014, Alibaba listed on the NYSE in the largest ever US-listed IPO, with Silver Lake maintaining a stake worth more than $5.1 billion at the time. [47]
GoDaddy 2011 Web hosting On July 1, 2011, Silver Lake and others joined with Bob Parsons to take GoDaddy private. In 2015, GoDaddy re-entered the public market. [48]
Skype 2009 Communication software Silver Lake, Andreessen Horowitz and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board announced the acquisition of 65% of Skype for $1.9 billion from eBay, valuing the business at $2.75 billion. In May 2011, Microsoft agreed to acquire Skype for $8.5 billion in cash. [49][50][51][52]
Avaya 2007 Communication software Silver Lake and TPG Capital completed an $8.2 billion leveraged buyout of the enterprise telephony and call center technology company that was formerly a unit of Lucent. [53]
Sabre 2006 E-commerce Silver Lake and TPG Capital announced a deal to buy Sabre, which operates Travelocity, Sabre Travel Network and Sabre Airline Solutions, for approximately $4.3 billion in cash, plus the assumption of $550 million in debt. Earlier in 2006, Blackstone acquired Sabre's chief competitor Travelport. [54]
NXP Semiconductors 2006 Electronics In August 2006, a consortium of Silver Lake, KKR and AlpInvest Partners acquired a controlling 80.1% share of the semiconductors unit of Philips for €6.4 billion. The new company, based in the Netherlands, was renamed NXP Semiconductors. [55][56]
SunGard 2006 Information technology SunGard was acquired by a consortium of seven private equity investment firms in a transaction valued at $11.3 billion. The partners in the acquisition were Silver Lake, which led the deal as well as Bain Capital, the Blackstone Group, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, KKR, Providence Equity Partners, and TPG Capital. This represented the largest leveraged buyout completed since the takeover of RJR Nabisco at the end of the 1980s leveraged buyout boom. Also, at the time of its announcement, SunGard would be the largest buyout of a technology company in history, a distinction it would cede to the buyout of Freescale Semiconductor. The SunGard transaction is also notable in the number of firms involved in the transaction. The involvement of seven firms in the consortium was criticized by investors in private equity who considered cross-holdings among firms to be generally unattractive. In 2015 the consortium sold the bulk of the Sungard business to FIS. [57]
Broadcom 2005 Electronics In 2005, the semiconductor division of Agilent was acquired by Silver Lake and KKR, to form Avago Technologies, one of the largest privately held semiconductor companies in the world. In 2009, Avago completed a $650 million initial public offering. In 2013, Silver Lake reinvested $1 billion in Avago to help finance its acquisition of LSI. In 2015, Silver Lake supported Avago's $37 billion acquisition of Broadcom, the biggest tech deal on record at the time. [58]


Investment strategies[edit]

Silver Lake operates through four primary strategies, all focused on technology investments:

  • Silver Lake Partners makes private equity investments in large-cap technology and tech-enabled companies. Silver Lake Partners comprises the bulk of the firm's assets under management.[61][62]
  • Silver Lake Alpine provides structured equity and debt investments in technology and technology-enabled companies.
  • Silver Lake Waterman provides growth capital, via a proprietary growth debt product, to later-stage growth companies in technology and technology-enabled industries.[63]
  • Silver Lake Long Term Capital is a long-term strategy that allows a broad mandate to invest in debt and equity across geographies and industries.[64]


After the sale of Skype to Microsoft in 2011,[51] Silver Lake was accused of unfairly depriving Skype employees of an options windfall.[65] At issue was a clause in the Skype employee stock option grant agreement. The repurchase right gave Skype the authority to buy back shares at the grant price, when an employee left the company, even when those shares were vested.


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  2. ^ "Silver Lake and the deal of the next century (Fortune, 1999)". 10 February 2013. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  3. ^ Wall Street's New Alchemist (Glenn Hutchins Profile). BusinessWeek, August 8, 2005
  4. ^ Silver Lake Partners closes $3.6bn private equity fund Archived 2012-07-18 at AltAssets, April 13, 2004
  5. ^ Silver Lake to Raise $10 Billion for Technology Fund. February 6, 2007
  6. ^ Silver Lake Sumeru closes on $1.1bn Archived 2011-09-28 at the Wayback Machine. AltAssets, May 7, 2008
  7. ^ a b "Investor Spotlight: How Silver Lake's 'Four Amigos' built a tech buyout behemoth". PitchBook. April 9, 2018.
  8. ^ Raval, Anjli; Fontanella-Khan, James; Parkin, Benjamin (September 3, 2020). "Silver Lake in talks to buy $1bn stake in Reliance Retail". Financial Times. Retrieved September 3, 2020.
  9. ^ "Australian Professional Leagues Announces Minority Investment from Silver Lake to Drive Technology Enhancements, Innovation and Growth" (PDF). Silver Lake. 14 December 2021. Retrieved 29 December 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ "A-Leagues sign minority stake deal with US private equity firm Silver Lake". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 14 December 2021. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  11. ^ "Silver Lake Preps Expansion With Leadership Shake-Up". Institutional Investor. December 2, 2019.
  12. ^ "Silver Lake to Retool Top Leadership Positions". Wall Street Journal. December 2, 2019.
  13. ^ Dallas insurance distributor gets $1.2 billion investment to accelerate growth The Dallas Morning News December 9, 2021
  14. ^ Fan experience set to improve after American company invests in Australian football December 14, 2021
  15. ^ "Group 42 behind Hayat-Vax receives investment from US-based Silver Lake". Arabian Business. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  16. ^ "Chinese Covid-19 Tests Were Pushed by Federal Agencies Despite Security Warnings". Wall Street Journal. 13 January 2021. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  17. ^ "Payments provider Klarna raises $650 million from Silver Lake-led investor group". Reuters. September 15, 2020.
  18. ^ "Silver Lake to buy additional $600 million stake in India's Reliance Jio Platforms". TechCrunch. 5 June 2020.
  19. ^ "Expedia to boost liquidity with $3.2 billion capital raise, names new CEO". Reuters. April 23, 2020.
  20. ^ "Airbnb receives $1 billion investment from Silver Lake, Sixth Street Partners". MarketWatch. April 6, 2020.
  21. ^ "Silver Lake makes $1B investment into Twitter; Twitter, Elliott call truce as Dorsey remains CEO". TechCrunch. March 9, 2020.
  22. ^ "Self-driving car company Waymo raises $2.25 billion in first external round of funding". CNN. March 2, 2020.
  23. ^ Tejaswi, Mini (27 November 2019). "Silver Lake to buy First Advantage". The Hindu.
  24. ^ "Manchester City's owner is worth nearly $5 billion after Silver Lake deal". CNN. November 27, 2019.
  25. ^ "Alphabet's Verily Gets $1 Billion Funding Round Led by Silver Lake". The Wall Street Journal. January 3, 2019.
  26. ^ "GE's digital unit to sell majority stake in ServiceMax". Reuters. December 13, 2018.
  27. ^ Bond, Paul (September 14, 2018). "Dalian Wanda Scales Back AMC Investment". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  28. ^ "GoodRx valued at about $2.8 billion after Silver Lake investment, sources say". CNBC. 6 August 2018.
  29. ^ "Ant's IPO Bonanza for Silver Lake, Warburg, Carlyle". Bloomberg News. March 24, 2017.
  30. ^ "Silver Lake Buys $500 Million Stake in Credit Karma". The Wall Street Journal. March 28, 2018.
  31. ^ "Silver Lake, P2 Capital to Take Blackhawk Network Private for $2.57 Billion". The Wall Street Journal. January 16, 2018.
  32. ^ "Silver Lake Takes $250 Million Stake in Startup WP Engine". Bloomberg. January 4, 2018.
  33. ^ "Silver Lake, LinkedIn Invest $300 Million in Software Provider Cornerstone OnDemand". The Wall Street Journal. November 8, 2017.
  34. ^ "Videogame Software Startup Unity Is Valued at $2.8 Billion". The Wall Street Journal. March 23, 2017.
  35. ^ "SoFi Raises $500 Million Led by Silver Lake for Global Expansion". Bloomberg. February 24, 2017.
  36. ^ "Silver Lake, GIC to Buy Stake in". The Wall Street Journal. April 1, 2016.
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  40. ^ "Silver Lake bets $1 billion on Motorola Solutions". Reuters. August 6, 2015.
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  43. ^ Alden, William (2013-02-05). "Dell's Record-Breaking Buyout". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-02-05.
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  46. ^ "WME-IMG Renames Holding Company Endeavor". Variety. October 9, 2017.
  47. ^ "Silver Lake Reaps a Golden Return on Its Alibaba Stake After the I.P.O." The New York Times. September 21, 2014.
  48. ^ "GoDaddy's IPO to value web-hosting company at up to $2.87 billion". Reuters. March 19, 2015.
  49. ^ EBay to Sell 65 Percent Of Skype For $1.9 Billion. New York Times, September 1, 2009
  50. ^ "eBay Inc. Signs Definitive Agreement to Sell Skype in Deal Valuing Communications Business at $2.75 Billion - Business Wire". Retrieved 1 June 2016.
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  54. ^ Sorkin, Andrew Ross. "2 Firms Pay $4.3 Billion for Sabre." New York Times, December 12, 2006.
  55. ^ Bloomberg News (2006-08-04). "Technology; Royal Philips Sells Unit for $4.4 Billion". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-27.
  56. ^ KKR in deal to buy Philips Semiconductors Archived 2008-01-06 at the Wayback Machine. Forbes, August 2, 2006
  57. ^ "Capital Firms Agree to Buy SunGard Data in Cash Deal." Bloomberg News, March 29, 2005
  58. ^ "Avago files for $400m IPO". 2008-08-28.[permanent dead link]
  59. ^ Avago Tech. (AVGO) Sees IPO Price of $13-$15. Street Insider, July 27, 2009
  60. ^ Avago Technologies Limited Prices Initial Public Offering[permanent dead link]. MSN Money, August 5, 2009
  61. ^ Silver Lake's New Four Amigos Dealmaker, September, 2007
  62. ^ "Silver Lake SEC Filing". The Street. October 7, 2019.
  63. ^ "Silver Lake eyes $4bn for sophomore structured equity effort". Buyout Insider. October 7, 2019.
  64. ^ "Silver Lake Launches New 25-Year Investment Strategy Backed by Mubadala". The Wall Street Journal. 2020-01-30. Retrieved 2023-02-03.
  65. ^ Why Some Skypers Are Seeing Red. Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine, June 23, 2011

External links[edit]