Duke Street appoints three operating partners

The UK-based European private equity firm has made three new appointments to focus on its core sectors of leisure and support services.

Duke Street Capital, the London-headquartered private equity firm, has announced the appointment of three new operating partners.

Didier Gros, Nick Irens and Richard Stephenson have joined Duke Street to focus on strategic development, deal origination and portfolio company management respectively.

Gros is the former president and chief executive of Accor’s budget hotel division and helped the company launch the Ibis hotel chain in China.
Irens, currently non-exec chairman of the leisure operator Esporta group, was previously chief executive of Cannons group in the same field.

Stephenson joins from Madison Filter, a global filtration company where he was CEO, having previously been a director of industrial company Scapa Group plc.

In a statement, Peter Taylor, head of private equity at Duke Street, said: “Our operating partners provide us with indepth industry knowledge and contacts. These appointments will further strengthen Duke Street’s expertise in two of our core sectors: leisure and support services”.

Duke Street is investing Duke Street Capital V, an €850 million ($1 billion) European mid-market buyout fund, which is currently more than 50 percent invested.

Last month, Duke Street sold its debt management business, Duke Street Capital Debt Management, to David L Babson & Company Inc, a US diversified investment manager for €60 million.