BNP Paribas grows German LBO presence

Christian Lange joins the European bank as part of an effort to expand its leveraged finance team.

Christian Lange has joined the Frankfurt-based leverage finance team of European financial services and banking group BNP Paribas.
Lange joined the bank on December 1. He reports to Olivier Baillet, head of leveraged finance in Germany. Lange previously worked at Deutsche Bank, where he was involved in structuring and executing European leveraged finance transactions in Frankfurt and London. Before that, he worked at Bankers Trust.
BNP Paribas said in a press release it would further reinforce its leveraged finance arm with selective hires in 2005.
Lange’s appointment comes at a time when the European leveraged finance market is booming, with record levels of debt capital available in the market place that is driving up lending multiples and asset prices.
A number of European LBOs this autumn received debt funding with multiples reportedly approaching eight times earnings. These included Apax Partners and Cinven's €2 billion buyout of parts of Dutch media company VNU; Charterhouse's £1.35 billion buyout of UK leisure and insurance group Saga; and BC Partner's purchase of French retail chain Picard Surgeles for €1.3 billion.
The largest European LBO of the year took place in November, when a consortium comprising Clayton Dubilier & Rice, Eurazeo and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity purchased listed French electrical distributor Rexel for €3.7 billion. That deal included more than €2 billion in debt funding.