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OpCapita appoints non-exec chairman

The turnaround specialist has appointed OpCapita operating partner John von Spreckelsen to the newly-created role, in which he will act as senior advisor for all portfolio companies.

UK-based turnaround specialist OpCapita has appointed John von Spreckelsen to the newly-created role of non-executive chairman.

Von Spreckelsen is an OpCapita founding partner, and has been an operating partner at the firm since 2006. He has a track record of more than 40 years in turnaround management, the firm said.

Von Spreckelsen will continue to play an active role in deal sourcing in the European consumer, retail and leisure sectors, but will also act as a senior advisor to all OpCapita portfolio companies. He will continue as chairman of French home equipment retailer BUT and German discount clothing retailer NKD.

The creation of the role is the latest in a string of hires and team-strengthening moves at the firm, which has increased from eight team members to 13 since mid-2014. Helen Gaffney and Javier Gonzalez joined as associates, while in May OpCapita appointed Caroline Crowley to the newly-created role of director of investor relations. In June, former chief financial officer, compliance officer and money laundering reporting officer Simon Millerchip rejoined the firm as CFO and head of compliance.

In December, OpCapita closed its debut fund on just over £100 million (€127 million; $156 million), as reported by Private Equity International. The vehicle has a two-year investment period and will be looking to make a maximum of four investments in total.

OpCapita has made two investments from the fund, acquiring Spanish frozen food retailer La Sirena Alimentación Congelada from existing owners in November 2014 in a deal thought to be worth around €30 million, and investing €20 million in November 2013 in NKD, which operates 1,850 stores in Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Italy.

OpCapita’s transformation of video game retailer GAME Digital, which it bought out of administration and listed on the London Stock Exchange just two years later, delivering a 5.9x return, was the winner of PEI’s Operational Excellence Awards 2015, EMEA – Lower Mid-Market category.