Hicks Muse backs London-based spin-off

Ahead of a new fundraising campaign next year, HMTF is committing capital to a new investment vehicle headed by Philippe von Stauffenberg, one of its London-based principals.

Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst (HMTF), the US private equity house, is to back Philippe von Stauffenberg, one of its London-based principals, who is to set up a new investment vehicle that will be affiliated with the group.


Hicks Muse has not disclosed the value of the investment it intends to commit to von Stauffenberg’s vehicle, although it will be entirely funded by the firm. The strategy follows a precedent set when the firm backed Paul Savoldelli, formerly head of the firm’s Buenos Aires office, to become HMTF’s management affiliate focusing on cable television in Latin America.


Prior to joining HMTF in 1999, von Stauffenberg was the CEO and major shareholder of Heitmann International, a multilingual technical publishing company, which he acquired, managed and sold over a three-year period.


HMTF has also announced various internal personnel changes, most notably the promotion of two former principals, Joe Colonnetta and Andrew Rosen. They join Thomas Hicks, John Muse, Jack Furst, Dan Blanks, Peter Brodsky, Lyndon Lea, and Eric Neuman, taking the number of partners at the firm to nine.


The news comes as HMTF is preparing the launch of a second European buyout fund. It is believed to be looking to raise no more than $1.5bn, the amount it raised for Europe I. The firm's first European vehicle invested in the buyout of Yell, the directories business of British Telecom, in 2001. It also funded the purchase of a number of non-core food businesses from Nestlé for an undisclosed sum, believed to be in the region of £100m.


Earlier this week, the firm emerged as one of the remaining bidders for DeTeMedien, the telephone directory business of Deutsche Telekom, in a deal valuing the business at around E1bn. Hicks Muse's rivals in the deal are joint bidders Goldman Sachs and Apax Partners.