KKR takes stake in Swiss-based software group

Michael Bow
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KKR’s European head is Johannes Huth
KKR, the private equity firm, has bought a 25 per cent stake in Swiss-based group SoftwareOne, which works with blue chip firms such as Microsoft, IBM, and SAP.

Management, existing shareholders and the firm’s founding partners will own the other 75 per cent of the company as part of the deal, terms of which were not disclosed.

The investment represents the first time Software­One has opened up its ownership structure to outsiders since it was founded in 1985.

The group employs 2,500 as representatives in 115 countries across the world and turned over more than $4bn (£2.6bn) last year.

KKR’s top man in Europe Jo­han­nes Huth said: “The partnership with Software­One follows our strategy of investing behind strong European entrepreneurs and their teams to help them grow their businesses in international markets, in particular the US and Asia.”

SoftwareOne is well known for offering software portfolio management tools, which allow comp­anies to manage the IT software they use.

KKR will use cash mainly from its fourth $3.5bn European fund, which had its first close earlier this year.

“As a founder-owned company, we take great care in choosing our partners and we are delighted to partner with KKR, which shares our entrepreneurial philosophy and cultural values,” Daniel von Stockar, Soft­ware­One’s chairman said.