Industrialist joins LBO France board as partner

In a sign of the growing importance firms attach to operational value creation, LBO France has bolstered its team with seasoned industrialist Gilles Taldu joining as a partner.

Gilles Taldu, a former Thomson and Capgemini executive, has joined LBO France as a partner.  He has also been appointed to the firm's management board, LBO France said in a statement.

Taldu joins the Paris-headquartered group's mid-cap-focused team, which manages the 'White Knight' suite of funds.

The firm decided to postpone the launch of White Knight IX earlier this year, as exclusively revealed by Private Equity International, having begun pre-marketing in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The firm decided to delay the launch due to the political and economic turmoil in Europe earlier this year and the negative sentiment that created abroad, a source said. The source also cited the uncertainty caused by the French presidential elections. The firm is likely to formally launch the fund in the next few months, the source added. LBO declined to comment on fundraising plans.

The addittion of Taldu to the team could well benefit the fundraising however, given the increasing importance attached to operational value creation. Taldu has a significant track record in industry, with a focus on business-to-business operations and international development.

He joined consumer electronics group Thomson in 1993 after previous working as government advisor on industry. He launched Thomson's digital satellite television business and brought its 'broadcast systems' unit back to profitability. He was appointed to Thomson's executive committee, took over its 'displays and components' division, and oversaw a major strategic shift in China.

After a decade at Thomson, Taldu moved to French group Capgemini in 2003, where he set up an operations division, built the firm's presence in India, and introduced a major upscaling programme. He later ran its European outsourcing unit. Last year, he became head of new business, a role that saw him pursue opportunities in China.