PE-backed media group buys MySpace for $35m

Specific Media, backed by TPG Capital spinout Francisco Partners, has agreed to purchase social networking site MySpace alongside artist Justin Timberlake.

Francisco Partners-backed Specific Media has teamed up with artist Justin Timberlake to buy social networking site MySpace for a reported $35 million. As part of the deal, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation will purchase a minority stake in Specific Media.

The size of deal for MySpace represents a fraction of the reported $580 million News Corp paid for the site in 2005.  TPG Capital spinout Francisco Partners invested in California-based digital media company Specific Media in 2007. The company is also backed by venture capital firms Enterprise Partners VC and Shepherd Ventures.

San Francisco-based Francisco Partners invests only in the information technology industry. “What we’re trying to do is find areas in technology that we think will outgrow the technology market overall,” co-founder and managing partner Dipanjan Deb told Private Equity International in a prior interview.

Francisco Partners closed its third fund on its $2 billion hard-cap in March and invests between $500 million and $750 million per year.

The firm targets companies with enterprise values between $50 million and $2 billion, investing in buyouts, growth equity, recapitalisations, restructurings and divisional divestitures.