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Exclusive: Florida pension buys stake in Providence Equity

September 25, 2012: 10:35 AM ET

Providence makes a big sale down south.

FORTUNE -- Florida's state pension system has acquired a minority interest in private equity firm Providence Equity Partners, Fortune has learned.

Providence yesterday sent out a confidential letter to investors, telling them that "two of our longstanding limited partners recently acquired a passive minority interest of less than 10% in Providence's management company and related entities, providing permanent capital that we will use to grow and invest in our business in coming years."

It did not name either of the investors, although multiple sources said that one was a U.S. public pension fund and the other was a foreign sovereign wealth fund. A spokesman for the Florida State Board of Administration confirms that his organization was the former, although he declined to provide additional details. No word yet on who the foreign investor is, although a source says it is not Singapore's GIC Investments (which recently did a similar transaction for CVC Capital Partners).

This is the second time that Florida SBA has done such a deal, having acquired a minority stake in Lexington Partners back in 2010.

Florida SBA also has committed to invest in Providence's seventh fund, which is expected to wrap up shortly.

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Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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