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Robert F. Smith still suffers from tax scandals after losing the Denver Broncos race: Sources

This spring, Robert F. Smith, the wealthiest African-American in the United States, urged the NFL to buy Denver Broncos. In the limelightTo help the league deal with the crisis of racial fairness.

The 59-year-old billionaire, who lost the contest to buy the team to Wal-Mart's heir Rob Walton, is having a hard time raising a new flagship technology fund for his acquisition. So I am working on my own crisis. Solid Vista Equity Partners, Post learned.

Problem: Vista was involved in a tax evasion scandal in late 2020, as well as the recent turmoil in the tech sector, as well as Smith, which Forbes estimates at $ 6.7 billion.

Smith — Carnegie Hall Chairman and Famousinvested $ 34 million in 2019 to pay off student loans for graduates' entire class. Morehouse College — Tax evasion of hundreds of millions of dollars in investment returns by cooperating as a witness to Vista seed investor Robert Brockman, who was charged with a record $ 2 billion tax evasion in 2020. Avoided the federal prosecution over. ..

Nevertheless, insiders say the scandal continues to plague Vista. Co-founder and former president Brian Chess — a respected rainmaker and many of the company's early successes were recognized for its trading prowess — reportedly Smith was thestation. When he negotiated with him, he resigned after refusing to hand over the reins, even temporarily. Justice in tax cases. At that time, Shes said his departure had nothing to do with Smith's "personal problem."

Former Vista president Brian Sheth left the company after Smith refused to hand over the reins as he dealt with his tax case.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Investors have grown cleverly against Smith lately There are signs that you may be doing it. I will skip a solid solo. In October, Vista reportedly launched an effort to raise a new buyout fund worth $ 20 to $ 24 billion.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Vista was targeting the latest flagship in April to achieve its "first settlement." This means that the first pile of cash can be used for investment. But Vista has received only $ 9.4 billion in commitment so far, and it's not clear if the company has begun to roll it out, a source close to the situation told The Post.

A Vista spokeswoman declined to comment on this article.

The New York State Pension Fund in May invested only $ 400 million in Vista's new fund after spending $ 500 million in a small fund in 2019, according to official documents. did. The Oregon Civil Service Retirement Program revealed in its March submission that it had only committed $ 250 million to Vista's new fund after investing $ 500 million in 2019.

Some government pensions have a policy of not investing in people who are deceiving the government, Vista investors added that his pension has not yet been decided.

Robert F. Smith
Getty Images

Consider Vista archiving, a technology-focused acquisition And this is a particularly painful point. Fund Thomas Bravo — In May, after being on the market for about the same period, it closed with more than $ 20 billion in funds. That's after Tohma Bravo surpasses Vista's 2019 fund with its own $ 17.8 billion fund. The

shortage occurs when Smith is running Vista for the first time without a shess. It has been pointed out that Vista is using the acquisition target formula as investors assess its importance. This includes acquiring competitors in the same space and combining them to gain market influence while reducing costs.

"Do you need Sheth to oversee the process of running a company? I don't think so," said the current Vista investor. "I think it's useful for him to price transactions."

One possible case: January 31st Vista partnered with Elliott Management to bring software giant Citrix to 16.5 billion. I bought it for $, or $ 104 per share. Since then, historic technology stocks have continued to surge, with insiders estimating that Citrix's value has been halved. Nevertheless, Citrix is ​​trading at over $ 98 per share. This is because the market believes that the tightly written merger agreement will close the $ 104 transaction in the coming months.

Smith lost out on the Broncos to Walmart heir Rob Walton.

Banks that have agreed to finance the transaction will pay $ 1 billion at resale An advisor to a private equity firm that will lose said that for Citrix transactions, Citrix's debt is much less than par.

"This is the biggest bust of the year," said the advisor.

By comparison, Elon Musk suggested that we could move away from the agreement to buy Twitter for $ 54.20 per share, but social network shares are trading for only $ 38. Difference: Vista is in the business of buying a company, and if Smith breaks a merger deal for what is considered a flimsy excuse, it will be very difficult to win the trust of other sellers.

Smith placed a formal bid on Denver Broncos after expressing concern that some Vista investors might be too distracted while running the company. Sources said they chose not to do so.

Despite the setbacks, insiders say Smith seems to be focused on Vista's future — and he seems to think more about attack than defense.

A few weeks ago, Vista was trying to take advantage of the turmoil in the tech market to buy a software company that was trading near the 52-week low, sources who knew directly about the situation said. .. According to sources close to the situation, Vista does so by sending a letter giving the company an opportunity to sell.

"Vista calls the CEO to see if he is interested in selling. The CEO says no and then writes a letter to the director who enforces the board." The source says.