January 23, 2018 / 2:05 PM / a year ago

KKR-backed cyber firm Optiv expands into Europe with deals in mind

FRANKFURT, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Optiv Security, a U.S. managed security service provider and serial acquirer backed by private equity firm KKR, is expanding into Europe with a roll-up strategy for a fragmented sector landscape, executives said on Tuesday.

Optiv's strategy involves both sales expansion and buying up smaller firms to gain geographic and technical scale, starting in Britain and then across Europe, it said. Majority owner KKR is the world's No.2 private equity firm.

The company has hired Simon Church as European general manager and executive vice president. Church has experience in building and restructuring business units and is a veteran deal maker.

From 2009 to 2015, Church executed a smaller-scale roll-up of European managed security services as director and later CEO of Integralis, which was acquired by Japan's NTT Com Security.

He then worked at security venture capital investor C5 Capital and as CEO of Vodafone Enterprise Security Services.

"There is no really pan-European player in the way Integralis was in the pure-play security provider market, along with two or three other worthy competitors at that time," Church told Reuters in a phone interview. (Reporting by Eric Auchard; Editing by Douglas Busvine)

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