SKM co-founder, Apax partner launch firm

The head of Apax’s US retail/consumer division, Chris Reilly, has founded a new firm with colleague Allan Karp, a co-founder of Saunders Karp & Megrue, which merged with Apax in 2005.

Two partners from global private equity firm Apax’s US retail/consumer division have founded KarpReilly, a Connecticut-based private equity firm focused on middle market consumer companies.

Chris Reilly, the division’s head, will be leaving Apax in the next few months, along with colleague Allan Karp. Karp joined the UK-headquartered firm in 2005 after its US arm merged with Saunders Karp & Megrue, the New York firm he co-founded in 1990. He – along with co-founder John Megrue – became a co-chief executive officer of Apax’s US operations following the merger, which was to bolster Apax’s US presence.

In an email to contacts, Karp and Reilly said: “We will continue to lead Apax’s involvement with 12 SKM and Apax portfolio companies…we will maintain a close relationship with Apax and the many partners, associates and portfolio companies in the SKM/Apax family for many years to come.”

Reilly joined Apax in 1990, and his directorships of its portfolio companies include SB Restaurant Corp., Norcraft Companies, Comark, and Encompass Home Health.

Karp is a board member of Apax portfolio companies including Elephant Bar, Comark, Café Rio, Ale House and Spyder Active Sports.

Two other executives have recently left Apax’s US division: former marketing director Laura Brightsen and former chief financial officer Evelyn Pellicone.