Butler recruits to seize crunch opportunities

The French special situations firm has made two senior hires following the departure of two employees to form rival firm Perceva Capital.

Butler Capital Partners, the French special situations firm, has recruited two directors to its team.

Walter Butler:
recruiting for crunch

Lionel Mestre and Roland Tricot are joining the firm as directors.

Mestre worked for ten years at French buyout firm PAI Partners as well as working at Big Four accountant PriceWaterhouseCoopers for three years.

Tricot was at General Electric for seven years in Europe and the US where he had direct operational responsibilities for numerous special situations and turnarounds.

The appointments follow the departure of partner Jean-Louis Grevet and turnaround specialist Franck Kelif to form Perceva Capital last year.

Walter Butler, the founder of the special situations firm, said the two recruits were not replacements and said Kelif had been a junior member of staff at the firm.

He said his firm was recruiting because it expected a busy environment for deals and may appoint more lower ranking staff in the coming months. “Given the economic environment and the debt to EBITDA levels we’ve seen over the last three years there is a very strong dealflow.”

The firm now has 12 investment professionals, including four partners. It recently bought Virgin France, a French retailer originally part of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group , from Lagardère, the media company.

The firm is investing its 2005 fund, which raised €350 million ($554 million).