Home » Firm led by America’s richest Black billionaire offers $1-billion equity injection to Finastra

Firm led by America’s richest Black billionaire offers $1-billion equity injection to Finastra

by Yusuf Abdulfatai
Robert F. Smith

Vista Equity Partners, the global technology investment firm led by Robert F. Smith, America’s richest Black billionaire, has announced plans to inject $1 billion of preferred equity into its portfolio company Finastra Group Holdings.

After protracted negotiations with potential lenders, the move aims to secure a multi-billion dollar refinancing deal.

The investment comes shortly after Vista Equity agreed to a $4-billion deal to sell software company Apptio to International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), showcasing the firm’s commitment to disciplined investment strategies and value creation under the leadership of Smith, who is widely known for his status as America’s wealthiest Black billionaire.

Sources familiar with the matter, who requested anonymity due to the private nature of the transaction, also revealed that Vista Equity’s package for Finastra includes a $4.8-billion private credit loan. This would make it one of the financial technology sector’s largest direct-lending deals on record.

The equity injection will enable Vista Equity to reduce the amount of new debt required for the financial-software provider. Originally targeting nearly $6 billion in new debt, this decision comes as the riskiest second-lien segment, planned to be between $1.5 billion to $2 billion, faced challenges in its implementation.

Vista Equity’s activity in the technology sector has been notable, with 18 monetization events completed since Nov. 30, 2021. These events encompassed full and partial exits, recapitalization, block sales, and a follow-on offering, resulting in a combined value of $18 billion.

Under Smith, a leading technology investor who surpassed Oprah Winfrey to become America’s richest Black billionaire in 2018, Vista Equity has realized a staggering $14.3 billion through monetization since 2021, including co-investments. An additional $3.7 billion in unrealized value remains yet to be captured.

Over the years, Smith’s wealth has surged from $7.05 billion to $12 billion, solidifying his position as one of the world’s leading Black billionaires. As of the latest Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Smith currently ranks as the 162nd richest man globally.

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