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US private equity billionaire Thomas H Lee dies aged 78

Thomas H Lee, a billionaire financier who led among the non-public fairness business’s most profitable offers throughout its early rise within the Nineteen Eighties and Nineteen Nineties, has died on the age of 78.

Lee based Thomas H Lee Companions in 1974, a boutique funding outfit that perfected the early artwork of leveraged buyouts and grew to grow to be one of many business’s largest corporations by the mid-Nineteen Nineties after a string of profitable offers highlighted by the takeover of beverage firm Snapple.

By the mid-2000s, Lee had grow to be one of many wealthiest non-public fairness buyers within the US and his Boston-based agency was among the many business’s largest by belongings, managing greater than $12bn, and a prolific dealmaker in a increase of huge takeovers resembling Dunkin Manufacturers and media scores group Nielsen.

In late 2005, Lee left his eponymous agency, which is now known as THL, to discovered a New York-based non-public fairness agency centered on midsized buyouts, known as Lee Fairness Companions, the place he most not too long ago acted as its chair. The group manages $3bn in capital and a portfolio of personal holdings within the monetary companies, healthcare and enterprise companies sectors. His internet price was estimated at $2bn on the time of his demise, in line with Forbes.

“We’re profoundly saddened by the surprising passing of our good pal and former accomplice, Thomas H Lee,” THL mentioned in a press launch late on Thursday. “Tom was an iconic determine in non-public fairness. He helped pioneer an business and mentored generations of younger professionals who adopted in his footsteps.”

The son of an government at Shoe Firm of America, as soon as the maker of the Clark’s model of sneakers, Lee was raised within the Boston space and graduated from Harvard School in 1965 earlier than changing into a securities analyst within the analysis division of LF Rothschild.

He lower his enamel as a director of expertise lending within the late Nineteen Sixties and early Seventies at First Nationwide Financial institution of Boston earlier than beginning his personal agency centered on company buyouts, then often called “bootstrapped” offers due to their heavy use of debt financing to accumulate corporations.

After discovering success within the Nineteen Eighties and Nineteen Nineties, Lee grew to become an influential philanthropist and avid artwork collector, performing as a trustee at cultural establishments such because the Lincoln Heart, the Museum of Fashionable Artwork, the Whitney Museum of American Artwork and the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

He was additionally a prolific benefactor to his alma mater, Harvard, and to Brandeis College and the Cardozo College of Regulation at Yeshiva College, amongst different establishments.

“The household is extraordinarily saddened by Tom’s demise,” mentioned Mike Sitrick, a spokesperson and household pal. “Our hearts are damaged. We ask that our privateness be revered and that we be allowed to grieve.”


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