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French giant makes first U.S. investment

French financial services company Groupe Caisse des depots expects to announce its first investment in a U.S. company, a joint venture with storage company Zantaz.

French financial services company Groupe Caisse des depots is expected Monday to announce its first investment in a U.S. company, a joint venture with online storage and retrieval company Zantaz.

Under the agreement, Zantaz will provide a secure storage and retrieval service for companies in France. Groupe Caisse des depots will hold a 55 percent stake in the joint venture and its venture arm, CDC Kineon, will manage the new company. The financial details were not disclosed.

Pleasanton, Calif.-based Zantaz sells a similar security service for data and information storage and retrieval in the United States. Its customers include financial services companies such as online brokers E*Trade and Datek.

Zantaz, which has raised a total of $60 million from four previous venture rounds, decided a joint venture would be better than a passive investment from the French financial giant, said Steve King, Zantaz chief executive.

Groupe Caisse des depots will also provide customer contacts and support, he added. The joint venture is expected to begin operations in the summer.