Duke Street gears up for France

The UK based buyout firm has appointed Samantha da Soller to help originate and execute deals in French-speaking markets.

Samantha da Soller is leaving Credit Suisse First Boston to join Duke Street Capital, the London-based European private equity firm, as an investment executive.

At CSFB, da Soller worked in the bank’s leveraged finance group in London, specialising in European LBO financings.

At Duke Street, da Soller will be expected to contribute to the firm’s pan-European investment activities, with particular emphasis on the origination and execution of transactions in French-speaking markets. Da Soller is a graduate of the French Grand Ecole Institut Commercial de Nancy.

Edmund Truell, chief executive, said: “In addition to Samantha’s background in private equity, she brings important knowledge of local markets and business culture which will contribute to Duke Street’s commitment to growing a pan-European organisation.”

Duke Street currently has alliances with Financière Natexis, the private equity arm of Banque Populaire Group and one of the country’s largest private equity managers, as well as Perfectis Private Equity.

In the Benelux, Duke Street has been working with Parcom Ventures since 1994.

Earlier this year, Duke Street promoted Frédéric Chauffier to Managing Director, with responsibility for Duke Street’s continental European activities.

In May 2000, Duke Street purchased a majority stake in Marie Brizard, one of France's largest independent drinks producers and distributors in a deal that valued the business at FF1.2bn.