Elevation Partners agrees first deal

The Silicon Valley-headquartered media and entertainment ‘venture buyout’ investor has agreed to acquire UK computer games developer Eidos for £71m.

Elevation Partners, the media and entertainment fund launched by Silver Lake co-founder Roger McNamee, has announced its inaugural investment.

The firm has agreed to pay 50 pence per share for UK computer games developer and publisher Eidos, valuing the company at £71 million (€102 million; $135 million).

The bid represents a 27 percent premium to Eidos’ closing share price of 39 pence on Friday night and is subject to shareholder approval.

Eidos is best known in the gaming sector for its Lara Croft game, which was turned into a series of Hollywood films. It also produces computer games Championship Manager and Hitman.

The deal plays to the strength of one of Elevation’s partners in particular. John Riccitello was president of the world’s largest videogame maker Electronic Arts for six years before joining McNamee.

Elevation Partners is in the process of raising a $1.5 billion fund for investment in the media and entertainment sector, of which more than $1 billion is understood to have been committed, according to market sources.

In February, the firm hired Kevin Albert, former head of Merrill Lynch’s private equity placement business, as partner in charge of investor relations.

Elevation’s other partners also include Bret Pearlman, formerly of The Blackstone Group, Fred Anderson, former CFO of Apple and Marc Bodnick who was a director at Silver Lake Partners with McNamee. Bono, the iconic lead singer of Irish rock band U2, completes the line-up.

McNamee’s former platform Silver Lake Partners is also in the news today, reportedly leading a private equity mega-consortium comprising KKR, Bain Capital, Texas Pacific Group, Blackstone, Carlyle Group and Thomas H Lee Partners in a $10.5 billion for financial services technology company SunGard Data Systems.