Siris to nearly double its money with $2 bln Polycom sale

Siris Capital appears to be doubling its money with the sale of Polycom.

Plantronics said March 28 that it would buy Polycom in a deal valued at about $2 billion. The deal includes $690 million in debt. Polycom, of San Jose, is a video conference equipment provider. Products include media phones and software. Plantronics makes lightweight headsets for office workers and gaming, as well as music and sports headphones. The Santa Cruz, California company has a $1.94 billion market cap.

“Bringing industry leaders Plantronics and Polycom together will unite two complementary portfolios to create one innovative team that companies around the world can trust for their communication, collaboration and problem-solving needs,” said Mary McDowell, Polycom’s CEO, in a statement.

The Polycom sale provides an exit for Siris, which has owned the company for less than two years. In 2016, Siris acquired Polycom in a deal also valued at $2 billion. That transaction included co-investments from StepStone Group, Hamilton Lane and GCM Grosvenor. The investors injected $692 million equity as part of the $2 billion deal, which included $576 million cash from Polycom’s balance sheet, according to a 2016 SEC filing and a source.

Excluding the debt, the equity is worth $1.31 billion in the new transaction. This means that the Siris group stands to make 1.89x their money or just under 2x.

Siris was formed by Peter BergerFrank Baker and Jeffrey Hendren, all of whom worked together at Ripplewood Holdings in the 1990s. The three spun out to join hedge fund S.A.C. Capital Advisors in 2007, investing out of a side-pocket vehicle they set up. In 2011, the executives founded Siris. The New York buyout shop targets mature tech companies with legacy brands that are trying to develop new products, Buyouts has reported.

Siris used its third fund, which closed on $1.81 billion in 2015, to invest in Polycom. Siris is seeking $3 billion for its fourth flagship, Buyouts said.

Executives for Stepstone, Hamilton Lane and Siris declined comment. Polycom referred questions to Siris. GCM could not be reached for comment.

Action Item: To contact McDowell call her at (408) 586-6000

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