Equistone expands investment team

The pan-European firm has hired in London and Zurich as it continues to invest its €2bn Fund V.

Equistone Partners Europe has expanded its investment team with the hire of an investment manager in London and an associate in Zurich, it said.

Richard Briault-Hutter joins the firm in London from corporate advisory Duff & Phelps, where he was a director. Prior to that he was an associate director at DC Advisory focused on consumer and travel sectors.

In Zurich, where the firm celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, it appointed Roman E. Hegglin in May. Hegglin was previously an associate at Credit Suisse in its investment banking team. He has also worked at UBS Investment Bank and Helbling Corporate in Zurich.

The appointments follow the addition of two professionals in France last year. The firm’s investment team now stands at 36 operating across its offices in the UK, France, Germany and Switzerland.

The firm is currently investing Equistone Partners Europe Fund V, a 2015-vintage, €2 billion vehicle, which is now 35 percent invested following its acquisition of London-based digital navigation company ChartCo last week from ECI Partners. The transaction valued the company, which provides navigational data, nautical charts, marine technical publications and compliance data, at £55 million ($79 million; €69 million). ChartCo was previously part of Kelvin Hughes Group backed by ECI, which retains ownership of its radar systems business.

The investment in ChartCo followed Equistone’s acquisition of a majority stake in UK restaurant group Gaucho Holdings in January, as reported by Private Equity International. The buyout was its sixth from Fund V.

This was the second time the firm had invested in the company having sold the stake acquired in 2005 to Phoenix Equity Partners in 2006 generating a 2.6x return.

Equistone targets investments of €25-125 million of equity in businesses with an enterprise value of €50-300 million.