International private equity firm Apax Partners has announced that Martin Halusa is to replace Ronald Cohen as chief executive of the firm’s global operations.
Halusa will replace Cohen, who becomes executive chairman, at the beginning of 2004. The decision on a successor was made by the firm's 22 shareholders, including a group a six in the US. Halusa will relocate to London.
Halusa joined Apax Partners in 1990 and has led the Munich office since that time. He began his career at the Boston Consulting Group in Germany and left as a partner in 1986. He then joined Daniel Swarovski Corporation, first as president of Swarovski America and then as a director of the worldwide Holding in Zurich. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and received his MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Most recently, Halusa led the E1.7bn buyout of Kabel Deutschland, Deutsche Telekom’s cable television unit, for Apax, which acquired the business alongside Providence Equity Partners and Goldman Sachs Private Equity. He is a member of the board of four companies, including German financial services companies ASC and Maklernet, and Tropolys, the German telecoms group.
Sir Ronald Cohen confirmed earlier this year that he planned to step down from his position of chief executive. Cohen will take up the position of executive chairman in order to smooth the takeover by Halusa, although Cohen is expected to step down from the firm in 2005.
Halusa becomes chief executive at a time when Apax is preparing launch a new fund, reportedly its biggest to date. The firm was buoyed recently by the successful flotation of UK directories business Yell, which at the time of the buyout in 2001 was the largest European private equity transaction. Yell and bidding partner Hicks Muse more than doubled their initial £600m investment.