MOSCOW/LONDON Jan 20 U.S. private equity group
General Atlantic is taking a stake in Kaspersky Lab, a maker of
anti-virus software, in a rare example of a private equity firm
investing in a Russian business.
The private equity group, which specialises in taking
minority stakes in fast-growing businesses, is buying about 20
percent of the business for around $200 million, two people
familiar with the situation said on Thursday.
No financial details about the deal or the exact size of the
stake were disclosed.
General Atlantic, which manages $17 billion in capital, will
become Kaspersky's second-largest shareholder after CEO,
co-founder and majority shareholder Eugene Kaspersky. John
Bernstein, one of General Atlantic's managing directors, will
take a seat on the board.
The deal is General Atlantic's first for a Russian business,
though the firm has made a number of investments in fast-growing
markets including China, India and Brazil.
Kaspersky is the world's fourth-biggest maker of secure
content management systems, rivaling Symantec (SYMC.O), McAfee
Inc MFE.N and Trend Micro (4704.T).
General Atlantic sells a significant proportion of its
investments through initial public offerings, often holding onto
stakes for a number of years after floating.
"We think an IPO (of Kaspersky) in three to five years in
very realistic, particularly if the company sustains the fast
global growth it has," said Bernstein in a telephone interview.
Kaspersky achieved revenue of $391 million dollars in 2009,
expected to have grown by more than 30 percent in 2010.
(Editing by David Holmes)