Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bain in PA: SunGard


This post is part of a series in an attempt to understand the influence and involvement of Bain Capital (and venture capital / private equity generally) in Pennsylvania. 

To do this I searched through newspapers and business databases to locate the names of Pennsylvania  companies that had some connection to Bain, then looked for general information on those firms.  Chain stores do not count unless the company is headquartered in Pennsylvania.

I have made a concerted effort to confirm information found in the press but sometimes this was not possible.   A similar effort was made to construct a search strategy in such a way that published corrections would also be found.  That being said, I am working primarily with self-reported corporate information and published media, not from original research.  Citations are provided so interested parties can reviews the research for themselves, and they are encouraged to do so.  This is not intended to be exhaustive research, though the intent was to be thorough. 

SunGard is a software and technology firm with a corporate headquarters in Wayne, Pennsylvania.  According to the history section of Sungard’s website (, it was spun off from Sun Oil Co. in the 1970’s.  From 1986 to 2005 it was a publically traded company.  In August, 2005 the company was taken private by “Kholberg Kravis Roberts, Silver Lake Partkners, Bain Capital, Blackstone Group, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, Providence Equity Partners, and Texas Pacific Group” (Parker, 08/21/2006).  An article in the Allentown Morning Call said it was the second largest buyout of a public company by a private investor, costing $11.4 billion (“Sungard,” 3/29/2005).  An article in Euromoney said 
“At $3.5 billion, it was the largest equity cheque written for an LBO, the largest ever buyout of a technology company, and included the largest ever consortium of sponsors.  On top of that, it was the biggest buyout since the RJR Nabisco deal 16 years earlier” (Tully, 2/2006). 
 The difference between the $3.5 billion check and the $11.4 billion cost was borrowed (“Sungard,” 3/29/2005). 

That loan has had long term ramifications.  As noted by the Inquirer in 2011: 
“The company has reported a lost each year since 2005.  [Sungard spokesman Brian] Robins says that’s due partly to amortization of the $11 billion that Silver Lake Partners and other buyout firms paid to buy SunGard that year.” (DiStefano, 5/17/2011). 
 A company profile by MarketLine published in 2012 gave a SWOT analysis of the firm.  It is overall positive.  The only weakness listed is a high debt level, a result of the company being taken private (SunGard, 7/17/2012)

Research uncovered several articles providing employee numbers but a correction in the Inquirer on July 21, 2011 (“Clearing”) states that Sungard does not release the number of employees for any given site, so none of that data will be provided here.  Interested parties are encouraged to search for that information themselves.


“Clearing the record,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 21, 2011

DiStefano, Joseph N., Conde to leave as head of SunGard Data,” Philadelphia Inquirer, May 17, 2011

Parker, Akweli, “Sungard’s CEO relishes private ownership,” Philadelphia Inquirer, August 21, 2006

SunGard Data Systems Inc.  MarketLine, July 17, 2012.

“Sungard’s CEO relishes private ownership,” Akweli Parker, Philadelphia Inquirer, August 21, 2006

Tully, Kathryn, “Sungard Data Systems $11.3 billion LBO,” Euromoney 37 #442, February, 2006.

No comments: