Accel-KKR, a technology-focused private equity firm with U.S. offices in Menlo Park, California and Atlanta, has reached a deal with Thunderhead to acquire its Smart Communications division for an undisclosed amount.
Smart Communications is a cloud provider for “companies who need to communicate with their customers through multiple channels in a fully compliant way,” according to Accel-KKR managing director Jason Klein. The newly formed company is ushered by its existing senior management and is led by chief executive officer George Wright, former SVP and general manager of the Smart Communications division while under Thunderhead.
As part of the company’s strategy going forward, Smart Communications will focus on “growth in new and existing markets, broadening its industry reach, and accelerating innovation and product development.”Smart Communications has more than 300 customers, including businesses in the banking, insurance, healthcare, telecommunications and retail industries. The new company is headquartered in London, with additional operations across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.
Smart Communications joins the Accel-KKR portfolio as the company’s thirty-first current investment, according to the firm. Tom Barnds, also a managing director at Accel-KKR, states that the PE firm will continue “to look to Europe to find strong platform and add-on investments.”
Accel-KKR has been active recently. In March, Accel-KKR invested in cloud software company IntegriChain; and in September 2015, the private equity firm closed its fifth buyout fund valued at $1.3 billion amid high interest in the software industry.
Movement within the software industry includes Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (NYSE: HPE) recent combining of its software assets as part of a deal valued at approximately $8.8 billion and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) making its first acquisition in the so-called “container” market.
Kirkland & Ellis International LLP and Slaughter and May served as legal adviser to Accel-KKR and Thunderhead, respectively. Goldman Sachs Private Capital served as financial adviser for Accel-KKR and Ernst & Young led the transaction for Thunderhead.