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General Atlantic
Type Private Ownership
Founded 1980
Headquarters Flag of the United States.svg Greenwich, Connecticut
Industry Private Equity
Products Growth capital
Total assets $15 billion

General Atlantic is a private equity investment firm focusing on growth capital or expansion stage investments. The firm invests through growth capital injections, control buyouts, industry consolidations, build-ups, recapitalizations, and PIPEs.

Founded in 1980, GA manages approximately $15 billion in capital and has more than 70 investment professionals based in Greenwich, New York City, Palo Alto, London, Düsseldorf, Hong Kong, Beijing, Mumbai and São Paulo.

The firm has approximately $15 billion of capital under management and is among the 50 largest private equity firms globally.



History of private equity
and venture capital

Early History
(Origins of modern private equity)

The 1980s
(LBO boom)

The 1990s
(LBO bust and the VC bubble)

The 2000s
(Dot-com bubble to the Credit crunch)


General Atlantic was founded in 1980 by secretive billionaire Charles F. Feeney[1] to invest on behalf of the Atlantic Philanthropies, which he had endowed. The firm was initially headed by Edward Cohen, who had previously been a partner of McKinsey & Company. Cohen was followed by Steven Denning who was a founding member of the firm and as of 2009 remained with the firm as GA's chairman.

General Atlantic focused initially on investments in computer software, oil and gas exploration and healthcare. Among the firm's first major investments was United Health Services which tripled in value in three years for the firm. The firm's investment in Duty Free Shoppers (DFS)[2], for the first time drew attention to the firm and by the mid 1980s, General Atlantic was becoming too large to maintain the level of anonymity that Feeney desired.[1] By the late 1980s, General Atlantic began to expand its funding source to include other family offices, as well as foundations and endowments.[1]


Since inception, General Atlantic has invested in nearly 200 expansion stage companies. Among the most notable companies in which the firm has invested are the following:


  1. ^ a b c Conor O'Clery, The Billionaire Who Wasn't: How Chuck Feeney Made and Gave Away a Fortune Without Anyone Knowing (ISBN 1586483919).
  2. ^ LVMH to Buy Duty-Free Empire for $2.47 Billion. New York Times, October 30, 1996
  3. ^ Buyout Shops Ink Deal for Emdeon. New York Times, February 12, 2008
  4. ^ Buyout Shops Cash in Lenovo Shares. New York Times, November 8, 2007
  5. ^ Zagat Survey Gets Investment For Expansion. New York Times, February 14, 2000

External links



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