Buyout Giant Seeks Silicon Valley Digs –

NEW YORK – Buyouts leader Clayton, Dubilier & Rice is heading to Silicon Valley.

The firm is looking for office space in the tech-saturated cities of Menlo Park and Palo Alto, said Richard Schnall, a principal at the firm.

Schnall will move to California to head the new office. In addition, Clayton Dubilier is looking to hire new investment professionals with experience running technology companies, Schnall said.

Last year, the firm launched an effort to find Internet business opportunities within all of its portfolio companies, including Alliant Foodservice, Kinko’s and North American Van Lines.

Like many other large buyout firms, Clayton Dubilier has taken a recent shine to high technology, despite not having a history of investing in the sector. Two recent tech investments by Clayton Dubilier include, a restaurant supply management Web site built in conjunction with Alliant Foodservice, and Guidance Solutions Inc., an e-business incubator focused on bringing Internet business efficiencies to offline industries.