The private equity firm that counts rock star Bono as a member of its investment team is taking a greater interest in Facebook. According to a new report, Elevation Partners has spent $120 million on five million of the company’s secondary market shares.
Sarah Lacy wrote earlier this morning that Elevation disclosed the move in "a recent letter to its limited partners." Also, "This is on top of Elevation’s $90 million, 2.5 million share purchase back in November."
That’s an important detail, since there’s no reason to believe Elevation Partners would throw good money after bad. Indeed, it makes sense to conclude that the original investment’s done better than predicted, and that whatever info Facebook’s supplied its shareholders with makes the future look even brighter.
Then it’s also necessary to note that Elevation’s move doesn’t represent any sort of hostile maneuver. Lacy explained, "Facebook controls who buys its shares on the secondary market, and Elevation has tight ties with the company. Elevation founders Roger McNamee and Bono were personal investors in Facebook, and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s brother-in-law is Mark Bodnick, another Elevation partner."
We’ll try to avoid cliches about a "beautiful day," but this arrangement really does look like a win for all involved.
The slight catch for some people might be that Elevation Partners doesn’t have a great track record in terms of picking winners, with its investment in Palm earning the organization more than a few scornful headlines.