Oaktree Capital Management has sold a 5% equity stake to a group of six institutional investors, led by the $1.7 billion John S. & James L. Knight Foundation. Howard Marks, the firm's chairman, who announced the deal to clients in a Feb. 25 e-mail, said the sale would provide the firm with additional cash and "demonstrate the value of Oaktree to outsiders." He declined to say how much the group paid.
Tim Crowe, the Knight Foundation's top investment officer, said the fund had been in talks on the deal for about a year, but declined to provide the specific terms of the transaction. Oaktree also manages an undisclosed amount for the Knight Foundation. Oaktree has around $25 billion in assets under management.
Marks said the 5% was agreed upon in part because the group of institutional investors had no interest in getting involved in the management of the firm. "They are financial investors, not strategic investors," he said. Oaktree is currently raising $1.25 billion for a new fund that will take control of distressed companies (see story, page 1).