Tren Griffin+ Your Authors @trengriffin I work for Microsoft. Previously I was a partner at Eagle River, a private equity firm established by Craig McCaw. I am on the board of directors of Kymeta. Apr. 10, 2020 1 min read + Your Authors

1/ Once upon a time there were 3 entrepreneurs. McGowan (telecom), Malone (cable) McCaw (mobile phones). The 3Ms were building businesses with huge new value based on cash flow, but not a GAAP profit. What person financed these businesses with a new security? Also starts with M.

2/ The security sold by M trades more on the underlying credit risk of the company or the industry than on movements in interest rates. The security has legal characteristics of debt, but if things go bad it is generally the 1st creditor to take on the rights of an equity owner.

3/ Was this security sold by M similar to late stage private equity investing in a high risk but potentially high return business in the form of a convertible debt offering with a liquidation preference and perhaps a fixed guaranteed dividend payable in kind?

4/ "A key financier for John Malone was Michael Milken, who was also an important source of cash for many other entrepreneurs like Bob Toll (Toll Brothers), Steve Wynn (Wynn Resorts), Steve Ross (Time Warner), Rupert Murdoch (News) and Ted Turner (CNN). 

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