Thoma Bravo seeks $750m for first private credit fund

The buyout firm is just the latest in a string of technology specialists to launch a debt arm.

Private equity house Thoma Bravo has jumped into the private credit world with a debut fund, according to documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The technology-focused investment shop, based in San Francisco and Chicago, is seeking $750 million for the vehicle. This isn’t the first time Thoma Bravo, which could not be reached for comment, has made headlines in the credit space. The firm tapped Ares Capital Corporation to lead a record $1.08 billion unitranche to back the June 2016 buyout of Qlik Technologies. Golub Capital and TPG Capital credit platform TSSP also in the loan. The deal has since been refinanced by Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.

Thoma Bravo, named for Carl Thoma and Orlando Bravo (pictured) closed its latest buyout fund, Thoma Bravo Fund XII at $7.6 billion in September 2016, its largest vehicle raised, which far surpassed the $3.65 billion garnered for Thoma Bravo Fund XI.

Fund XII charged a management fee of 1.5 percent on the vehicle’s aggregate commitments along with a 20 percent carried interest, according to documents from the Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System. The fund, which does not have a hurdle rate, put an emphasis on software and technology-enabled services.

Several private equity firms specialising in technology have entered the private debt world as well. Francisco Partners hired Scott Eisenberg, formerly of Blackstone credit arm GSO Capital Partners, earlier this summer to lead a credit investing practice, as sister title Private Debt Investor previously reported. Eisenberg’s background centres around investments in media and communication businesses, including in financial distressed companies.

Both Thoma Bravo and Francisco Partners are both following in the footsteps of Vista Equity Partners and Silver Lake.

Vista launched a private debt practice in February 2013. The firm hired Kristine Jurczyk, formerly of Antares Capital, to launch it and gathered $196 million for the first fund, PEI data showed. Vista is currently in market with its second fund, which has pulled in $757 million, almost four times the size of its initial credit vehicle.

Two years earlier, Shawn O’Neill joined Silver Lake to launch its venture debt practice. Currently, the firm – which has offices in North America, Europe and Asia – is also on its second fund, which met its $75 million goal, according to PEI data. The initial fund raised $125 million.

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