Romneys & Thiel Invest $100 Mil In Vivint – CEO Shuffle

Romneys & Thiel Invest $100 Mil In Vivint – CEO Shuffle

Romneys & Thiel Invest $100 Mil In Vivint – CEO Shuffle

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USN Staff – May 5, 2016 – 9:15 PM / Edited May 6, 2016 at 8:20 AMMitt and Tagg Romney have teamed up with PayPal’s Peter Thiel in a $100 million investment into Vivint Smart Home. On April 27th, Business Insider published the story which has garnered worldwide attention but has been mostly ignored in Utah. Solamere Capital, a venture firm co-founded by the Romneys, alongside Thiel, are part of Vivint’s “first round of venture-capital funding” This is the only known smart home industry investment by Thiel.Vivint is a ‘smart-home’ company based in Provo that is expanding worldwide and had posted $650 million in revenue in 2015, with $387 million in EBITDA, a measure of profitability.Vivint Smart Home wants to be the Apple of smart homes and is owned by the Blackstone Group who also owns a majority of Vivint Solar. The Blackstone Group is the largest alternative investment firm in the world and acquired Vivint in 2012 for over $2.2 Billion. As of August 2015, Vivint Smart Home had approximately 7,000 employees serving 970,000 customers. The company was founded in 1999 by Todd Pedersen who currently serves as CEO.

Vivint Solar was negotiating a buy-out with SunEdison, but according to BI, “Vivint Solar terminated the deal in March after SunEdison failed to close on the planned acquisition. SunEdison filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April after a short-lived but aggressive binge of debt-fueled acquisitions proved unsustainable.”

On May 2, Bloomberg published an article: “Vivint Replaces CEO Butterfield After SunEdison `Disruption’” (referring to Vivint Solar). The article states: “Greg Butterfield is stepping down and David Bywater, chief operating officer of Vivint Smart Home, was named interim CEO. The company is also starting a search for a permanent CEO.” This news comes almost 2 months after Vivint Solar “terminated a deal to be acquired by SunEdison.” and only five days after the Romney/Thiel deal was announced for Vivint Smart Home.

Butterfield led Vivint Solar in its initial public offering in October 2014. Bywater has served as Vivint Smart Home’s chief operating officer since 2013. Vivint Solar is now suing SunEdison. The Romneys and Thiel now have $100 million invested in Vivant Smart Home, a large amount for any company you may have never heard of, in a market that Business Insider describes as in a “weird, frustrating, and confusing state”.

Note: In a call Friday AM, Vivant Smart Home was unable to confirm that David Bywater had moved over to Vivint Solar but had heard the rumor.


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