About TA Associates Inc.
Boston-based TA Associates is one of the oldest private equity establishments in the United States. It was founded in 1968 as part of the Tucker, Anthony & R.L. Day investment bank and spun off into its own independent entity in 1978. Being in the business for 40 years, TA Associates has invested in 400 portfolio companies and since 1995 has raised more than $15 billion for these companies in public offerings, debt financings, and mergers and acquisitions. TA Associates manages approximately $16 billion capital base.
During the first 20 years of operations, TA Associates had a venture capital branch that invested in struggling companies. However, TA has since focused on late-stage investments in companies that are profitable and growing at least 20 percent per year. Typical investment size is anywhere from $60 million to $500 million in companies that are in the technology, health care, financial services or consumer service industries. One of the advantages that TA Associates brings to its potential portfolio companies is a willingness to be a minority investor. Unlike many of its competitors, TA Associates pledges to “never take operating control” but instead to find companies that have strong management in place already.
Drops of Jupiter
TA Associates made history in 2007 by venturing into a territory rarely traversed by private equity companies, investments in fund management. TA Associates’ $1.53 billion investment in London-based Jupiter Asset Management was the largest private equity-backed MBO of a fund management business. Jupiter Asset Management is a leading asset manager in Europe, with more than $20 billion under management and 450 employees. TA Associates has a history of investing in the often-overlooked fund management sector, sponsoring 12 companies in the industry since the 1980s. The transaction was completed with the help of a “covenant-lite” loan or a less restrictive loan that comes with “no financial covenants” or restrictions on debt. TA Associates was one of the first firms to take advantage of this structure in lending before the credit crisis further crippled the market.
Weathering the storm
TA Associates made several big deals in the first half of 2008, despite the industry-wide pall that fell on private equity due to the tightening credit markets. The biggest deal of the year came in June when TA partnered with its competitors Apax Partners and Madison Dearborn to buy the European telecommunications firm Weather Investments for $1.1 billion. Weather Investments is based in Rome, but its network of mobile, fixed and Internet communication services stretches to Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Greece, Pakistan and Tunisia.
The company has also kept busy in other ways in 2008. TA Associates’ transactions in the first two quarters of 2008 include a minority equity investment in RGM Advisors, an automated trading firm; a second public offering of portfolio company Monotype Imaging; the sale of Preferred Freezer Services, a firm it has been majority owner of since 1995; and a minority recapitalization of Keeley Asset Management.
John Hancock Tower
200 Clarendon Street, 56th Floor
Boston, MA 02110
Phone: (617) 574-6700
Employer Type: Private
President & CEO: Jerry Rawis
2007 Employees (All Locations): 3,915