Forstmann’s Lister joins Permira

London-headquartered LBO investor Permira has hired former Forstmann Little partner Tom Lister to join its New York Office.

Permira, one of the largest London-headquartered LBO specialists, has appointed Tom Lister as a partner. According to a spokesman Lister, who two weeks ago announced his departure from US buyout shop Forstmann Little, has come on board to head Permira’s New York office.

Permira opened an office in New York in 2002 in order to help generate investment opportunities in international businesses and to support portfolio companies that are active in the US. Lister will be joining a team that, according to the firm’s website, already comprises investment professionals Ken Bloomberg, Richard Carey, Allen Haight, Torsten Vogt and Nic Volpi.

Boosting its US presence is the latest step taken by Permira to extend its international operational capabilities. In July of this year, the firm announced the formation of an office in Tokyo to make equity investments of up to €400 million in Japanese companies. Guido Gamucci, a member of Permira’s six-strong operating committee, is leading the push into the Far East.

In continental Europe, the firm has offices in Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Stockholm and Madrid, where it opened in August 2004.

Permira is currently investing Permira Europe III, a partnership closed in October 2003 on €5.1 billion.

Lister joins the firm after a 13-year stint with Forstmann Little, where he became a partner in 1996 at the age of 32.

Lister is one of several executives to have decided to leave the firm after Ted Forstmann, its founder, indicated that it would not attempt to raise another fund. Sandra Horbach, a partner who spent 18 years at the firm, left earlier this year for the same reason.

Forstmann Little is one of the most colourful participants in the US buyout market. After several investment successes including Dr Pepper and Ziff-Davis Publishing, which Lister was involved in, the firm lost its way in the late 1990s when it started to invest in telecoms companies in a strategic about-turn that led to losses of more than $1 billion.