CL appoints Spanish head of acquisition finance

The French bank is anticipating a pick-up in LBO activity in Spain and has appointed Javier Gonzalez-Tovar as the bank’s Spanish head of leveraged finance.

Credit Lyonnais has sought to boost its Spanish leveraged finance unit ahead of a pick-up in the Spanish LBO market with the appointment of Javier Gonzalez-Tovar.


Gonzalez-Tovar joins the bank from JP Morgan Chase in New York, where he was a vice president in the financial sponsors group focusing on Latin American private equity transactions. Prior to joining the team five years ago, he was part of the US loan syndications team at Chase Manhattan. Pablo Martinez-Casas, who joined CLAF last year, will be Gonzalez’s assistant, with further appointments expected within the next few months.


Gonzalez-Tovar will report to Pascal Werner, head of acquisition finance for Europe. In addition to Paris and Madrid, Credit Lyonnais’ European leveraged finance team operates in London, Frankfurt and Milan.


The bank's leveraged finance unit in Spain was hit by a number of departures last year, including division head José-Maria Vegas, who left the bank for UK-based mezzanine debt provider ICG.


CLAF is hoping to boost its involvement in private equity-backed transactions, and Gonzalez believes that, despite a lack of deals last year, 2003 could  offer  a  number of opportunities. “There is an increasing understanding of the leveraged finance market in Spain and this could lead to an increase in transactions in 2003, particularly given the increased interest from overseas private equity firms,” he said. “In the coming year, we will aim to close two or three transactions at lead arrangers and a further three or four as participants.”  The team will look to focus on transactions requiring a minimum of E30m in debt. 


Crédit Lyonnais has been involved in several of Spain’s larger LBO transactions over the past few years, including the E206m acquisition of Mivisa Envases with Suala Capital in late 2001.