Billionaire Robert Smith’s Private Equity Firm Wins Big After 4.6B Sale To IBM
Billionaire investor Robert F. Smith‘s private equity firm Vista Equity Partners has sold software company Apptio in a deal with IBM for a reported $4.6 billion, a 142 percent return on investment. .
According to Markets Insider, Vista acquired the Washington-based app in 2019 for $1.9 billion with full confidence that the returns would be significant in part because of their faith in Apptio CEO and co-founder Sunny Gupta’s vision.
“As investors, we were immediately drawn to what Sunny and his team were doing,” Vista Equity Partners said in a statement. “Not only were they innovating an entirely new category with tremendous growth potential, but Sunny was also an established visionary founder having co-founded iConclude, which pioneered the IT runbook automation market through its acquisition by Opsware.”
In a separate statement, IBM said it plans to use cash on hand to fund the deal which it expects will be finalized later this year.
Vista, which has an infinity for acquiring software companies, has made $18 billion since 2021 trusting the selling power of the brands they bet on.
“At a time when exit activity within private equity has fallen considerably, Vista has continued to maintain its momentum. Since November 30, 2021, the firm has completed or signed 18 monetization events across full and partial exits, recapitalizations, block sales, and a follow-on offering,” the company said in statement. “Across these events, we have generated $18.0 billion in total value, including monetizations of $14.3 billion (including co-investment) and $3.7 billion in unrealized value still to be captured.”
This is great news for Smith, who surpassed media maven Oprah Winfrey as one of the world’s richest Black Americans and is currently the world’s 150th wealthiest person with a personal fortune of $12 billion, according to Markets Insider.
And no one can forget the donation he made to Morehouse’s 2019 graduating class whose debts, totaling $34 million, he completely expunged.