Accel-KKR Mulls European Office
An expansion into Europe is on the drawing board for technology specialists Accel-KKR, said managing director Rob Palumbo, head of its Atlanta office.
An expansion into Europe is on the drawing board for technology specialists Accel-KKR, said managing director Rob Palumbo, head of its Atlanta office. The affiliate of Accel Partners and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, created in 2000, specializes in middle market tech acquisitions, targeting companies with annual revenues between $15 million and $150 million. Polumbo declined to comment specifically on what could trigger or kill such an expansion. Spokesman Joseph Kuo said the firm is always looking for investments in the U.S. and internationally.
Several factors make the move an enticing possibility, Palumbo said. For one, there is less institutional venture capital in Europe, which means there are more closely-held and family-owned businesses--the firm’s buyout staple stateside. There are also many large, multinational companies with tech assets that do not fit their business model which could be divested. That fits into Accel-KKR’s buyout model to target divisions, subsidiaries and business units from public companies. “Europe is an interesting market,” he said. “It is very inefficient and Accel-KKR and our relationships lend themselves well to that market.”
In October 2000, under a different management team, the firm invested in London-based globalCOAL, a business-to-business e-commerce site. Kuo said the firm had one other investment outside of the U.S. with Alias, a Toronto-based 3-D graphics software company. Accel-KKR acquired the company for $57.5 million in May 2004 from SGI. In January the firm sold its stake in Alias for $197 million to San Rafael, Calif.-based Autodesk.