London-based private equity firm Hicks Muse (Europe) has hired experienced branded consumer goods professionals Javier Ferran and George Sewell as directors. Both men will take up their new posts in April 2005.
Ferran, a Spanish national, has held a number of senior positions at Bacardi Group, the wine and spirits business, for the last 20 years. He looked after the group’s key markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and was most recently president and chief executive officer of Bacardi Limited.
Sewell spent 32 years at Quaker Oats, and was president of Quaker European Foods from 1995 to 2004. He was also chairman of the Association of Cereal Food Manufacturers and was a member of the Council of Food and Drink Federation from 1999 to 2001. In addition, he is a non-executive director of Premier Foods, a former Hicks Muse portfolio company, from which it fully exited in October last year.
Commenting on the appointments, Hicks Muse (Europe) managing partner Lyndon Lea said: “With their years of experience and extensive professional networks, Javier and George will assist us in monitoring our existing and potential branded consumer investments.”
Hicks Muse (Europe) formally separated from Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst in January 2005. The London-based operation, headed up by Lea, said it had become an independent group wholly owned by its partners and that it would change its name in due course.
Last July, Hicks Muse (Europe) announced that the firm’s compensation structure had been changed. Under the previous scheme, members of the US investment team were entitled to a share of the carry arising from European exits and vice versa. Under the new terms, the carry split was eliminated in favour of “eat-what-you-kill” provisions for both the US and the UK teams – a move which effectively sealed the separation of the London operation from the Dallas mother ship.
Hicks Muse (Europe) says it has invested approximately €2 billion in European companies since opening in London in 1998. Many of these investments have been in the consumer branded products sector.