No lengthy column today in Dan's absence, just a quick endorsement of iCon, a book about Steve Jobs, and a quick thought. I'm only up to page 111, or 1984, but it happens to be the point in time where, according to the author, then-Apple board member Arthur Rock, one of the venture capital market's founding fathers, pushes then-CEO John Sculley to really take charge of Apple and push Jobs into a different role. I'm always interested to hear stories where a VC or buyout investor actually steps in to do this sort of thing, because more often than not the private equity backers wait too long to push for personnel changes. It's arguably easier for buyout investors, since they have majority control, than it is for minority-stake VCs. But in my view, handling personnel may be the greatest weakness of VCs. I'd love to hear something more insightful on the matter. Please email me at adam.reinebac! email@example.com. Have a great weekend.
Tech sellers are salivating over today's news that Google plans to sell a secondary stock offering worth $4 billion. The search engine is being vague about its intentions, but did mention acquisitions as a possibility in its filing with the SEC. Not surprisingly, a trip to Google's news section shows the rampant and diverse range of speculation about how the money will be used.
BBC News is reporting that Permira has bought a stake in Gala Casinos for 200 million pounds sterling, raising the value of the company to 1.8 billion pounds. Permira, whose stake is rumored to be 30 percent, joins existing majority investors Candover and Cinven, which bought the company for 1.2 billion pounds in 2003.
NBGI Private Equity is backing the