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M&S men reunited at Change

Roger Holmes, the former chief executive of Marks & Spencer, has joined Change Capital, the private equity firm headed up by Luc Vandevelde, the retailer’s erstwhile chairman.

Change Capital Partners, the London-based mid-market private equity firm founded in January 2003, has hired Roger Holmes, the former chief executive of UK retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S). Holmes has been made a partner at the firm, according to a report in the Financial Times.
 
Holmes was replaced by Stuart Rose as CEO of M&S earlier this year when the group was shoring up its defences against retail entrepreneur Philip Green’s ultimately unsuccessfully attempt to buy the business.
 
Holmes, who received a £4.2 million (€6.1 million; $8.1 million) payoff from M&S, will invest some of his own capital and take an equity stake in Change Capital when he joins the business next month, according to the report.
 
Vandevelde told the FT that he had spoken to Holmes about joining Change back in July: “Roger and I can be very complementary […] which I think we demonstrated for a couple of years.”
 
Change was set up in 2003 by Steve Petrow, Frederic Hufkens and Vandevelde, receiving a €300 million initial cornerstone investment from the Halley family. The family, a leading shareholder in French retailer The Carrefour Group, has set aside a further €700 million for co-investment.
 
In August, Change completed its second investment, acquiring UK blind manufacturer Hillarys Blinds in a transaction valued at £115 million from mid-market firm Close Brothers Private Equity.
 
The firm’s inaugural deal was the £60 million acquisition of DIY retailer Robert Dyas in March this year. The firm also temporarily featured in the KKR-led consortium set up to acquire Dutch retailer Royal Vendex for €1.4 billion, but pulled out before the deal was completed.