Hellman Friedman exit nets $2bn

San Francisco-based buyout shop Hellman & Friedman has sold digital marketing firm DoubleClick to internet behemoth Google for $3.1 billion – two years after having taken the firm private for $1.1 billion.

Hellman & Friedman has nearly trebled its investment in DoubleClick with the sale of the digital marketing firm to Google for $3.1 billion (€2.3 billion).

The San Francisco-based private equity firm, alongside San Diego-based venture firm JMI Capital, took DoubleClick private in 2005. The two firms paid $1.1 billion for the company, or $8.50 per share of outstanding NASDAQ-listed stock, which represented a 10.6 percent premium. DoubleClick had $135 million in debt outstanding at the time.

Following the take-private deal, DoubleClick – which specialises in online advertising, search engine and affiliate marketing, email marketing, database marketing, and data management – underwent some significant restructuring. Its chief executive stepped down, and a new board of directors and chairman were appointed.

“When we acquired DoubleClick in July 2005, we saw an opportunity to partner with a great management team to further enhance the company’s capabilities and growth trajectory,” said Philip Hammarskjold, managing director of Hellman & Friedman, in a statement.

Hellman & Friedman’s $3.1 billion deal with Google is subject to customary closing conditions, and is expected to close by the end of the year.

The 23-year old private equity firm is currently investing its $8 billion sixth fund.