IK adds to French buyout team

The Swedish private equity firm has hired former ABN Amro Capital associate director Dan Soudry to the firm’s French team.

Industri Kapital, the European buyout firm headquartered in Sweden, has expanded its presence in the French market with the appointment of Dan Soudry from ABN Amro Capital.

Soudry spent two years with ABN Amro’s LBO team as an associate director, after three years as a director at KPMG’s corporate finance unit. The appointment strengthens the team headed up by Christopher Masek (responsible for the French and Southern European markets) and now comprising Jean-Baptiste Wautier, Stefano Sirolli (both deputy directors), Rémi Buttiaux and Josep Turró Bassols (both associates). The firm set up French operations in 2000, although the team continues to work from London.

IK’s portfolio currently comprises 25 companies with a total turnover exceeding E11bn. French investments include Laho Equipement, France’s second largest construction equipment rental group, which it acquired in June 2000; Fives-Lille, an international industrial engineering group and Labeyrie, European market leader in foie gras and smoked salmon, for which it paid E125m in March 2002.

Industri Kapital becomes the latest private equity firm to boost its presence in one of Europe’s fastest growing markets. Figures published this week by Afic, the French venture capital association, showed a 78 per cent increase in French private equity investment in 2002, a year which also saw the completion of Europe’s largest LBO, that of French electronics business Legrand.

Earlier this month, KKR appointed former Carlyle MD Jacques Garaïlde to lead the firm’s operations in the French market. In April, Activa Capital hired former RBPE France investment manager Christophe Parier to join its investment team.