KKR’s Richardson joins Hicks Muse

Neil Richardson, a former partner and senior member of KKR’s London office, has moved to rival Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst to join the firm’s European team.

Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, the Dallas, Texas-headquartered buyout firm, has written to investors advising that Neil Richardson will join its European team in London.

Richardson, who is 47, joins the team from rival buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, where he was a partner based in the London office.

A spokesperson for Hicks Muse confirmed the appointment, describing it as part of the firm’s ‘normal teambuilding.’ In their letter to investors, partners Dan Blanks and Kelly Mayer wrote that Neil brought 23 years of experience and strengthened the firm’s ‘senior resources in Europe’.

Neil’s arrival at Hicks Muse’s London office is a boost for the firm, which is currently in the process of raising its second buyout dedicated to the European market. The fundraising target is €1bn ($1.28bn).

Neil is joining a team led by Lyndon Lea, a partner aged 34, and comprising three principals, two associates and four analysts. John Muse, US-based co-founder of the firm, also takes an active interest in its European operations.

Prior to arriving at Hicks Muse, Lea worked alongside Neil at Glenisla, an entity through which KKR pursued its European activities prior to establishing a permanent presence in Europe in 1999.

In recent years Lea shot to prominence as one of the key figures behind the leveraged buyout of Yell, the UK directories business, from British Telecom.

In November 2003, Hicks Muse acquired UK cereal manufacturer Weetabix in a £642m transaction.