Jan 27, 2017

Trump advisor strikes a very rich deal

Andrew Harnik / AP

Anthony Scaramucci received a lucrative deal on the way out of Wall Street and into the Trump White House.

Scaramucci recently disclosed an agreement to sell off his 45% stake in SkyBridge Capital, a hedge fund-of-funds he founded in 2005, in order to join the Trump Administration as a director in the Office of Public Liaison. The announcement didn't contain a price, but Bloomberg today reports the deal is worth around $180 million:

The transaction values SkyBridge at 7.2 times normalized Ebitda, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, Scaramucci said. "That's a rich valuation for a fund-of-funds transaction," said Karl D'Cunha, managing director at CBIZ Valuation Group in Chicago, who said buyers typically pay three to five times earnings.

The deal also includes a performance-based earn-out that could bring it closer to $230 million, although a source close to Scaramucci tells Axios that he isn't eligible to pocket any of that upside. The source adds that Scaramucci received two bids higher than the one he picked ― led by Chinese conglomerate HNA Group ― but that neither of those prospective buyers would promise not to lay off current SkyBridge staffers.

As for the actual price, it's complicated. On the one hand, everyone knew Scaramucci had to sell. That should have depressed the price. On the other, Scaramucci's omnipresence on TV and his annual Skybridge conference gave the brand more cachet than that of a typical hedge fund-of-funds.

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