Candover, the UK listed buyout house, has further expanded its European team with the appointment of John Arney as a new director.
Arney joins the firm from JP Morgan Partners, the private equity unit of investment bank JP Morgan Chase. Whilst there he was a director specialising in the media and communications, support services, leisure and chemical industries. Prior to that he worked at private equity house 3i and PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he qualified as a chartered accountant.
Reporting to managing directors Colin Buffin and Marek Gumienny, Arney, based in London, will be responsible for leading buyouts in the media, support services and chemicals sectors and will join the board of Candover Partners.
Arney believes Candover's most promising opportunities will come from large corporates in the process of restructuring that need to dispose of non-core assets. “We are also aware of a number of high quality managers in the market looking to buyout their own businesses or to lead buyins of companies being sold,” he said.
Over the last fourteen months Candover has significantly strengthened its operations in Europe. The firm opened its Paris office in October 2001 and is currently setting up a Dusseldorf office that will open in 2003. French buyout veteran Cyrille Chevrillon was appointed as managing director at the firm’s Paris office last week and in May Kurt Kinzius, formerly head of M&A at Mannesman, was hired to head the German team.
Candover has already made a series of investments in Continental Europe, including the recent E1bn of Ontex, the Belgium-based manufacturer of sanitary products.
Recent exits achieved by Candover this year include the sales of PII to GE Power Systems, Regional Independent Media to Johnstone Press and Diamant Boart to Electrolux and the IPOs of Detica Group on the London Stock Exchange and Inveresk on Nasdaq. The firm closed its most recent – and largest yet – buyout fund at E2.7bn in June this year.
With a number of European firms now competing at the top end of the buyout market – including Cinven, Charterhouse, EQT and PAI – and with deal flow set to accelerate further, the need to deepen deal teams as a means to maximise bidding advantage has been an issue for several firms.