Forstmann Little veteran to join Carlyle

Sandra Horbach, former general partner at Forstmann Little, will join The Carlyle Group’s New York office this September to head the firm’s consumer/retail sector group.

Global private equity giant The Carlyle Group has announced that Sandra Horbach has been named managing director, global partner and head of the consumer/retail sector group.

Horbach most recently served as a general partner with New York’s Forstmann Little & Co., which she joined as an associate in 1987, eventually becoming general partner in 1993. She will join Carlyle in September and be based in New York.

Susan Horbach, former Forstmann Little GP, will join Carlyle

Carlyle’s consumer/retail sector group spans across its various funds across the globe. The group’s most recent deal was last May’s purchase of Spain- and Portugal-based Saprogal, a manufacturer and supplier of animal nutrition products in those countries. That investment was made out of Carlyle Europe Partners II, a $2.2 billion (€1.7 billion) fund.

Prior to joining Forstmann Little, Horbach worked for two years in the mergers and acquisition department of Morgan Stanley.

Horbach’s departure from Forstmann Little follows last year’s pledge from the firm’s founder, Theodore Forstmann, to shut down the firm as soon as 2006, and to possibly release investors of their remaining capital commitments before then.

In a New York Times interview, Forstmann also bemoaned the modern private equity industry, saying it has become too institutionalised and is vulnerable to lawsuits by public pensions.

New York-based Forstmann Little last year also paid the state pension of Connecticut $15 million to settle a lawsuit against the firm. The state’s elected treasurer, Denise Nappier, charged that Forstmann Little had breached its partnership agreement with the state by making two ill-fated investments in telecommunications companies XO Communications and McLeodUSA.