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California firm acquires majority interest in Springs-based Accellos

By: WAYNE HEILMAN
October 16, 2012
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A California private equity investment firm focused on technology has acquired a majority interest in Accellos Inc., a Colorado Springs-based software developer for the warehouse and supply chain industries.

Terms of the transaction with Menlo Park, Calif.-based Accel-KKR were not disclosed, but Accellos said in a press release Tuesday that the deal was facilitated in part by previous investors Centennial Ventures of Denver, Monitor Clipper Partners of Cambridge, Mass., and Murphree Venture Partners of Houston. The three venture capital and private equity investment funds, along with Hillman Co. of Pittsburgh, had previously invested $54 million in Accellos for an 80 percent stake in the company; employees owned the remaining 20 percent.

The company’s 80 employees will be retained, and the headquarters will remain in Colorado Springs.

“We are excited that Accel-KKR chose to partner with Accellos,” said Michael Cornell, CEO of Accellos, in a joint press release from Accellos and Accel-KKR. “The founders and employees at Accellos believe strongly in our strategy. This partnership validates our strategy and provides Accellos with the financial resources required to execute our strategy. We want to move quickly to deliver customers a broad set of supply chain solutions tailored to the needs of the mid-market and logistics service.”

Accel-KKR has more than $2.3 billion in assets under management and primarily invests in software and information technology businesses positioned for growth, especially family-owned or closely held private companies, public companies being taken private and acquisitions of divisions from larger companies. The company was started in 2000 as a joint venture between buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and venture capital firm Accel Partners, but two years later the current management took control of Accel-KKR.

“Accellos fits very well with our investment focus and experience,” Tom Barnds and Jason Klein, managing directors of Accel-KKR, said in the release. “We think there is tremendous opportunity in the (small business) segment of the supply chain execution market and we are very pleased to be working with the entire team at Accellos as they continue to lead and consolidate the market.”

Accellos was started in 2006 by Cornell and three other former executives from NxTrend Technology Inc., a Colorado Springs-based software company that made software to take orders, handle billing and manage inventory for companies in the construction industry; NxTrend was sold in 2004 for $83 million. Accellos used much of its financing to acquire small firms in the highly fragmented market for logistics, warehouse and transportation management software,

Contact Wayne Heilman: 636-0234 Twitter @wayneheilman
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