OpenGate consolidates Parisian presence

The Beverly Hills-based private equity firm has recruited the Paris-based managing partner of Naxos Capital, Robert Lezec, to head up the company’s global transactions. OpenGate had an active end to 2008, acquiring major stakes in British modelling agency Models 1 and US TV Guide Magazine in December.

Investment firm OpenGate Capital has appointed Robert Lezec as partner  in a move that folds Lezec's firm Naxos Capital into OpenGate

Lezec will operate from Paris, “combining the activities of his firm Naxos Capital with those of OpenGate”, to promote the global transactions of OpenGate’s portfolio companies.

“Over the past six months, Naxos has been doing a lot of deals with OpenGate which made us think that it would be a good idea to combine the companies,” Lezec told PEO. Naxos' staff has now moved into OpenGate’s Paris office in rue Boissy d’Anglas, and although the companies have not formally merged, Lezec said Naxos has been effectively “folded” into OpenGate. The firms recently worked together to acquire an American weekly called TV Guide Magazine from Macrovision Solutions Corporation in December 2008, a success which prompted the recent changes, Lezec said.

Lezec has been chairman and managing partner of low to mid-cap investment firm Naxos since he helped to found it in 2007. Before that, he was vice president of mergers and acquisitions and portfolio operations at buyout firm Platinum Equity. Prior to this, Lezec worked in M&A at global oil and gas firm Schlumberger, where he later served as vice president and general manager of the firm’s Mobile Telecommunications Solutions division. Lezec subsequently co-founded a mobile phone entertainment provider called Indiqu, which was sold to Hands-on Mobile in 2002.

OpenGate, which manages more than $500 million in funds, made a large European investment at the end of 2008, when it acquired a majority stake in British modelling agency Models 1, representing supermodels Twiggy and Agyness Deyn, for an undisclosed amount.