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Körber and KKR partner to build a global supply chain software champion

KKR

The strategic partnership is expected to create enhanced end-to-end capabilities for customers amid increasing supply chain complexity.

Global investment firm KKR has acquired a significant minority stake in Körber’s supply chain software business. The move looks to  enable the business to become a global leader with enhanced end-to-end solutions for customers worldwide.

The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Körber’s supply chain software business is among the top three global warehouse management software providers, delivering customers with differentiated warehouse management solutions (WMS) for varying operational complexities through software, voice and robotics solutions. With over 1300 employees, the business has grown significantly over recent years, serving a diversified mix of more than 4,200 customers in different industries across over 70 countries.

Structural trends and market forces, including e-commerce, multi-channel, and micro-fulfilment, are amplifying the need for digital solutions to handle increased volume and overcome greater supply chain complexity.

KKR will work with Körber’s supply chain software business to pursue organic and inorganic growth strategies to expand the company’s geographic footprint, accelerate the transition to SaaS, automation and robotics, as well as to develop innovative digital solutions to support customers amid increasing warehouse automation and supply chain localisation.

Stephan Seifert, CEO of the Körber Group says it is in Körber’s DNA to identify and develop attractive growth areas.

“With our supply chain software offerings, we strive to have a rich end-to-end application suite that provides enhanced software solutions to our customers all around the world,” he says. “With KKR we have found a great business partner to accelerate our growth for supply chain software across additional products and regions. Always with one clear vision: market leadership through technology leadership for the benefit of our customers.”

Christian Ollig, Head of KKR for DACH, and Jean-Pierre Saad, Head of Technology for Private Equity in EMEA at KKR say a seamless and highly automated supply chain is critical for enterprises of all sizes and see significant growth potential in this market.

“Körber’s supply chain software business is already one of the leading providers with excellent expertise and capabilities in WMS including robotics and voice, led by an industry-leading management team. We look forward to the strategic partnership with Körber and to leveraging our experience of growth acceleration with global software businesses, as well as partnering with management, to help Körber’s supply chain software business reach its full potential in this attractive market.”

Chad Collins, CEO Software, Körber Business Area Supply Chain, says: “The strategic partnership with KKR is a great opportunity for us and we look forward to working with them and to drawing on their vast experience and track record of investing in and scaling software businesses globally. This will allow us to significantly accelerate our growth plan to build a global champion in supply chain software.”

KKR’s investment comes from its flagship European private equity fund, KKR European Partners Fund V, which has a long track-record in strategic partnerships with founders, corporates and management teams. KKR is one of the most active investors focused on building leading global technology enterprises, with global tech investments including Cegid, Exact Software, Cloudera, Darktrace, MYOB, Onestream, Epicor, iValua, Visma, among others. Across DACH, KKR has been investing on the ground for over 20 years primarily through strategic partnership deals such as in Axel Springer, Scout24, Wella, Unzer and SoftwareOne.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

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