CD&R makes European appointment

The US buyout firm has appointed a former Cisco Systems director to its European team in London as it looks to increase European activity.

US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice has hired Olivier Cognet for the firm’s European operations based in London.

Cognet is a former director of strategic business development at Cisco Systems' European operations. Whilst at Cisco, Cognet teamed up with CD&R to identify business synergies at Italian telecoms firm Italtel, prior to the CD&R-led purchase of Italtel in 2000. 

Cognet’s remit will be to work across the firm’s entire portfolio and will identify and assess investment candidates, particularly in segments of the telecommunications and technology industries.

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice manages over $3.5bn, of which $1.5bn has been invested in seven European transactions over the past four years. The firm has been involved in three recent deals in Europe, including the £434m purchase of UK food manufacturer Brake Bros, and according to CD&R CEO Donald Gogel, the firm is looking to boost its European activity. “Europe represents a significant, strategic and long-term growth opportunity for us.”

The firm is targeting the growing number of asset sales by European corporates as a potential area for acquisitions. “Many of the non-core assets resulting from corporate restructurings are in need of the kind of operating and financial skills we bring to our investments,” says Gogel.