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Silver Lake partners
Silver Lake partners
Silver Lake led the 2005 acquisition of SunGard, the largest private buyout of a tech company.
2008 Rank: 11
2007 Rank: Not previously ranked
Recent buyout fundraising: $10.4 billion

Just because Silver Lake focuses on technology, that doesn't mean its deals aren't as big as those at Blackstone, where co-founder Glenn Hutchins worked until launching his own shop with David Roux, Jim Davidson and Roger McNamee in 1999.

It led the 2005 acquisition of software maker SunGard, the largest private buyout of a tech company, and Silver Lake recently raised two funds: a large cap fund, Silver Lake Partners III , and another fund focused on the middle market, Silver Lake Sumeru.

Recent deal highlights include a $200 million investment in the research firm Gerson Lehrman this winter and Silver Lake's decision to sell part of its stake in Nasdaq, garnering 3.5 times its investment.

Headwind issue: Gerson Lehrman helped pioneer a different model for consulting firms, where clients get matched directly with industry experts. But competition is getting stiffer as others, like McGraw-Hill, have entered the mix with similar services.

Worth noting: Sumeru takes its name from the central world mountain in Hindu mythology, appropriate for a fund chasing after middle-market deals.

NEXT: Thomas H. Lee
Last updated July 28 2008: 4:28 PM ET
Source: Rankings are based on a firm's most recently raised buyout fund(s). Fortune looked at data from Capital IQ, institutional investors, and the companies themselves to determine the size of the most recently raised buyout funds. For some firms that means a fund that was raised in 2007; for others it might be 2006. Whatever the date, the most recent fund was the one we counted. In the case of companies that raise multiple funds simultaneously as opposed to raising a single fund at a time, we chose to count only those private equity funds that were not raised in public markets and that were earmarked for buyouts (as opposed to investments in debt, venture capital, or other ventures).
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