Summit rings up $273m European tech exit

The US-headquartered private equity firm has realised almost 4x its original investment in one of the largest European technology transactions of 2004.

Summit Partners, the private equity firm with offices in Palo Alto, Boston and London, has sold its shareholding  in Jamba AG, the German wireless content services provider.

In a transaction worth approximately $273 million (€223 million), Jamba was acquired by Verisign, a Nasdaq-listed technology company.

Summit originally invested $40 million for a 56 percent stake in Jamba in September 2003 and the sale has realised a 3.8x return on the original investment. Verisign will fund the acquisition with 65 percent cash and 35 percent stock.

Jamba provides audio and entertainment products and services for mobile phones. The company serves wireless subscribers across nine European countries and is one of the leading German portals for mobile Internet content.

London-based partner Scott Collins, who was previously chairman of Jamba’s supervisory board, led the transaction. In a statement he said: “This acquisition validates the talents of Jamba’s founders and managing directors; Marc, Oliver and Alexander Samwer.”

In March this year, Summit closed its third subordinated debt fund on $465 million, Summit Subordinated Debt Fund III, which will co-invest with Summit Partners’ private equity funds and will provide up to $70 million of mezzanine debt per transaction in emerging growth industries.

Founded in 1984, Summit has a capital base of more than $5.5 billion and has provided growth equity, recapitalisation and leveraged buyout financing to more than 250 companies.