Goldman Gets Easy Win on Loan to Billionaire CrowdStrike CEO
(Bloomberg) -- Giving George Kurtz millions of dollars will rank among Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s safest deals.
The bank loaned CrowdStrike Holdings Inc.’s chief executive officer about $10 million to exercise stock options and pay taxes, according to the software-maker’s prospectus. Kurtz pledged as collateral a quarter of his 10% stake in CrowdStrike, whose market value has nearly doubled since Tuesday’s initial public offering, making Kurtz a billionaire. His pledged shares alone are now worth $320 million, based on Thursday’s closing price of $67.56. The stock fell 5% on Friday.
The transaction offers a glimpse at how the rich can leverage their assets for liquidity and the perks banks offer ultra-wealthy clients. Investor Najeeb Al Humaidhi last year received a 375 million pound ($474 million) margin loan from banks working on Aston Martin’s IPO, a person familiar with the transaction said at the time. Among the mega-wealthy, Elon Musk has used his shares in Tesla Inc. to obtain personal loans, while Oracle Corp. Chairman Larry Ellison has put up millions of the company’s shares to fund a lavish lifestyle that includes trophy properties, America’s Cup teams and the Indian Wells tennis facility in California.
Read More: Goldman, Morgan Stanley want to lend the ultra-rich more money
CrowdStrike’s initial offering of 18 million shares priced at $34 each -- above its already elevated target range -- bolstering Goldman’s position as the global IPO leader this year by issued equity volume. Tuesday’s sale was led by Goldman, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and Barclays Plc.
A spokesman for CrowdStrike didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, while Goldman Sachs declined to comment.
Founded in 2011 by former McAfee Inc. executives including Kurtz, CrowdStrike makes software to protect clients from cyberattacks. With the IPO, Kurtz joins a wave of billionaires -- including Zscaler Inc. founder Jay Chaudhry and the China-born brothers behind Fortinet Inc. -- to emerge this year from cybersecurity businesses.
Kurtz, 48, who has a net worth of about $1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, wasn’t the only CrowdStrike employee to secure Goldman financing. Chief Financial Officer Burt Podbere used most of his stake to obtain a loan of as much as $3.7 million from the investment bank for the same purposes as his colleague, according to the prospectus. His stake is now worth almost 25 times that sum after CrowdStrike’s share spike.
Kurtz founded his first online security firm two decades ago and sold it to McAfee in 2004 for $86 million. He worked at McAfee for seven years, becoming global chief technology officer. He left the year after Intel Corp. announced its $7.7 billion purchase of the firm in 2010.
(Updates with closing share price in second paragraph.)
--With assistance from Devon Pendleton, Sridhar Natarajan and Tom Maloney.
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