Carlyle builds European MD team

The US private equity firm has increased its team of European managing directors to nine, following two promotions at its Paris and London offices.

( US private equity firm The Carlyle Group has strengthened its European leveraged buyout team by appointing two new managing directors. The two new managing directors, Robert Easton and Franck Falezan, have both been promoted internally from director positions on Carlyle's European buyout team.


“We continue to see great opportunities in the UK and across Europe in leveraged buyouts,” Glenn Youngkin, a managing director of The Carlyle Group who leads buyout investments in the UK, said in a statement.


Easton, who joined Carlyle in September 2000 and is based in London, orchestrated the firm’s offer for UK-based specialist engineering group Firth Rixson, which, upon completion, will involve taking the company private and merging it with one of Carlyle's existing US portfolio companies, Forged Metals Inc. Prior to joining Carlyle, Easton was vice president of corporate development for Invensys, executing a total of 35 acquisitions and disposals with an aggregate value of E7bn.


Falezan, who joined Carlyle in June 1998, is based in Paris. In April 2002 he was instrumental in the acquisition of Aprovia, a publisher of 70 business titles, and MediMedia, a medical publisher ranked third in the world, from Vivendi Universal Publishing. In February 2000, Falezan was involved in the execution of Carlyle's investment in Otor, a French company and one of the largest corrugated board manufacturers in Europe. He was also involved with Carlyle's acquisition of a 40 per cent stake in Le Figaro in July 1999 and sat on the board of the company until Carlyle sold its stake in March 2002.


The promotions bring the total number of managing directors on Carlyle's European buyout team to nine, spread throughout Europe in local deal teams in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.


Carlyle's E1bn European buyout fund, Carlyle Europe Partners I, was launched in 1998 and now holds investments in 17 portfolio companies across France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Sweden and the UK The fund pursues transactions in the automotive, telecommunications, media and publishing, aerospace and defense, building products and chemicals sectors. As at 30 November 2002, 90 per cent of the fund had been invested or committed.


Carlyle signed five significant buyout deals in Europe in 2002, two of which were in the UK: an investment in QinetiQ, a science and technology research organization, which was signed in December 2002; and, an agreement on the terms of a recommended cash offer for the purchase of Firth Rixson, which was approved by Firth Rixson's board in December 2002.