Vista Equity Lays Out Plans to Raise New Flagship Fund
(Bloomberg) -- Private equity firm Vista Equity Partners has notified investors it’s planning to raise a new flagship fund later this year, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The firm, led by billionaire Robert F. Smith, has yet to set a target for the fund, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. Formal fundraising efforts may begin toward the end of this year, one of the people said.
A spokesman for Vista declined to comment on the firm’s fund formation plans.
The effort will test support for Vista from investors, including pension funds and endowments, following Smith’s admission that he evaded taxes for years and last year agreed to pay $139 million in back taxes, fines and penalties. Co-founder Brian Sheth left Vista in November.
The New Mexico Educational Retirement Board last year withdrew plans to invest in Vista’s credit fund following Bloomberg News’ reports of the tax investigation, according to the New York Times.
Vista in 2019 raised $17 billion for its seventh flagship fund, including contributions from executives. At the time, it marked the largest technology-focused private equity vehicle ever raised, but has since been eclipsed by Thoma Bravo’s $17.8 billion fund and Silver Lake’s $20 billion fund, both announced within the past seven months.
Vista’s flagship fund has made bets on companies including SmartBear Software, TripleLift, Klarna Bank AB, KnowBe4 Inc. and Pluralsight Inc.
Vista sold work-management platform company Wrike Inc. to Citrix Systems Inc. for about $2.25 billion earlier this year. The company, backed by one of Vista’s middle-market funds, had a gross internal rate of return of 70%, a person with knowledge of the matter said.
In 2020, Vista raised $9.4 billion for its various strategies, including $2.7 billion in December, a person familiar with the matter said.
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