Providence Equity Partners

Providence Equity Partners LLC is an American global private equity investment firm focused on media, communications, education and information investments. The firm specializes in leveraged buyout transactions as well as growth capital investments and has invested in more than 140 companies globally since its inception in 1989.[1][2]

Providence Equity Partners LLC
Limited liability company
IndustryPrivate equity
Founded1989 (1989)
FounderJonathan M. Nelson, CEO
Key people
Glenn M. Creamer, Senior Managing Director
Paul J. Salem, Senior Managing Director Emeritus
ProductsLeveraged buyouts, Growth capital
Total assets$18 billion
Number of employees

The firm manages funds with over $45 billion in commitments, making it a large global player in the private equity industry. The firm also invested in credit funds through its Capital Markets group and affiliate, Benefit Street Partners.[3][4] Benefit Street Partners closed on a $1.75 billion middle market direct lending fund in April 2014.[5][6] Providence sold Benefit Street Partners in 2018.[7] Providence was one of the principal pioneers of a sector-based approach to private equity investing. The firm’s sixth fund, Providence Equity Partners VI, closed on $12 billion in 2007,[8] making it the largest sector-focused private equity fund ever raised.[9]

Providence is headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island with five additional offices in New York, London, Hong Kong, Beijing and New Delhi.


Providence is led by Founder and CEO Jonathan M. Nelson. Paul J. Salem serves as Senior Managing Director Emeritus.[10] The firm raises investment funds from a broad array of institutional investors, including pension funds, endowments, sovereign wealth funds, financial institutions, insurance companies, fund of funds, and high-net-worth individuals.

Providence partners with companies across different stages in their development, from growth capital and complex recapitalizations of family-owned businesses to large buyouts and take-privates. The firm targets equity investments of $150 million to $800 million and can employ a variety of financing structures.[1] Providence prefers to lead its investments, serve on company boards, and work collaboratively with company management.[11]

In 2008, Providence hired Thomas Gahan as president of the firm’s new capital markets group.[12] Prior to joining Providence, Mr. Gahan was head of Deutsche Bank’s corporate and investment banking in the Americas and chief executive officer of Deutsche Bank Securities. The credit platform was sold to Franklin Templeton Investments in October 2018.[7]

Providence’s investments have included Group, Blackboard Inc., Conversica, eircom, Hulu, Kabel Deutschland, MLS Media, NEW Asurion, Bluestone Television, Newport Television, Univision, VoiceStream (now T-Mobile US), Warner Music Group, Western Wireless, and World Triathlon Corporation (Ironman), YES Network, ZeniMax Media and TopGolf.[13][14]

Since 2010, significant investments by the firm include RentPath, Ambassador Theatre Group, Miller Heiman, Learfield Communications, The Chernin Group, GLM, UFO Moviez, Study Group, and Abacus Data Systems.[15][16][17][18][19] Providence’s recent exits by sale or IPO include iQivi, Hulu, YES Network, Decision Recourses, MobileServ (Phones 4U), Bresnan Communications, and Kabel Deutschland.[1][20][21][22] In March 2013, Providence and the National Football League formed a global partnership to invest primarily in sports and entertainment related media assets.[23]

In September 2012, Providence sold a less than 10% stake in the firm to Florida’s state pension system and a sovereign wealth fund.[24]

In February 2015, Providence's $800 million stake in security screener Altegrity was wiped out when the security company was accused of fraud and filed for bankruptcy. This followed a series of other expensive losses that Providence blamed on investments outside of its expertise made during the peak of the 2007 and 2008 private equity boom.[25]

In March 2017, Modern Times Group sold its telecommunication businesses in the Baltic states to Providence Equity Partners.[26] In October 2017, the transaction was completed.[27] The newly-acquired companies were united and operate under the All Media Baltics company name.[28][29][30]

In April 2019, MasMovil agreed to repurchase its convertible bond from Providence Equity. Providence remains a shareholder in the company.[31]

In September 2019, Providence Strategic Growth collected $2 billion for its fourth fund.[32]

Senior Advisors

Senior Advisors that work with the firm on new investment opportunities and certain of the firm’s existing investments, include:


  1. "Company Overview of Providence Equity Partners LLC". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 2012-09-21.
  2. "Providence Equity buys Star India's stake in Star CJ". June 6, 2014.
  3. Ken MacFadyen (January 21, 2010). "Providence Expands Capital Markets Arm". Leveraged Finance News.
  4. Julie Segal (November 12, 2014). "Tommy Gahan Wants to Capitalize on Volatility". Institutional Investor.
  5. Matthew Sheahan (April 10, 2014). "Benefit Street Closes $1.75B Credit Fund". Leveraged Finance News.
  6. Chris Witkowsky (April 10, 2014). "Providence Equity debt arm hits $1.75 bln hard cap on Fund III".
  7. Segal, Julie (25 October 2018). "Franklin Templeton Buys Providence Equity's Benefit Street Partners". Institutional Investor. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  8. "Providence Equity Raises $12 Billion Buyout Fund". The New York Times. February 21, 2007.
  9. "Private Equity International magazine's ranking of the world's largest private equity firms". PEI - Alternative Insight. May 1, 2008.
  10. Rocco, Matthew (24 January 2019). "MGM board to evaluate real estate portfolio". Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  11. "About Us". Retrieved 2012-09-14.
  12. "Movers & shakers: Sept. 26, 2008". The Deal. September 26, 2008.
  13. Phil Wahba (June 25, 2014). "Private equity fuels Ironman triathlon organizer's gauntlet". Fortune.
  14. "Providence Equity Backs Golf Entertainment Company Topgolf". Dow Jones & Company. 22 February 2016.
  15. Bob O’Brien (October 22, 2014). "TPG sells stake in RentPath to Providence". The Deal. Archived from the original on November 17, 2014.
  16. Anne-Sylvaine Chassany (October 21, 2013). "Providence buys Ambassador Theatre Group for £350m". Financial Times.
  17. LEARFIELD MEDIA SERVICES (September 10, 2013). "Shamrock Capital to sell Learfield to Providence Equity". The Southern Illinoisan.
  18. "Providence Equity Partners Acquires Miller Heiman". PR Newswire. January 9, 2013.
  19. "Abacus Data Systems Announces Strategic Investment by Providence Equity to Fuel Growth and Innovation". Abacus Law. December 15, 2015.
  20. "Recent News". Retrieved 2012-09-14.
  21. "Baidu Buys from Providence Equity". PE HUB. November 2, 2012.
  22. Andy Fixmer (October 13, 2012). "Providence Said to Sell 10% Hulu Stake for $200 Million". Bloomberg Businessweek.
  23. Nadia Damouni (March 18, 2013). "NFL, Providence Equity form strategic investment partnership". Reuters.
  24. "Providence Equity Said to Sell Stake in Firm to Investors". Bloomberg Businessweek. September 25, 2012.
  25. "The Private Equity Firm That Grew Too Fast". 2015-04-24. Retrieved 2018-12-05.
  26. "MTG sells Baltic broadcasting businesses - MTG".
  27. "MTG completes the sale of its Baltic broadcasting businesses - MTG".
  28. "All Media Baltics to Deliver Top-quality TV Reception via SES Video". Business Wire. Retrieved 2018-07-25.
  29. "SES inks All Media Baltics deal". Broadband TV News. 2017-12-19. Retrieved 2018-07-25.
  30. "Acquisition of MTG's business in Baltics completed; new company to be named All Media Baltics". The Baltic Times. Retrieved 2018-07-25.
  31. Cooper, Laura (2 April 2019). "Providence to More Than Quintuple Its Money on MásMóvil". WSJ Private Equity. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  32. Cooper, Laura (16 September 2019). "Providence Strategic Growth collects $2bn for fourth fund". Private Equity News.

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