Pacific Equity Partners boost team

Pacific Equity Partners, an Australian private equity firm, has taken onboard a former Bain consultant as a director, after hiring an ex-Coles executive.

Pacific Equity Partners, an Australian private equity firm founded by former Bain consultants, with strong links to Boston-headquartered Bain Capital, has appointed Tony Duthie as a director. Duthie’s joining PEP follows the formal appointment of Steve Cain as an operating director at PEP in June.

Cain was formerly a managing director for Food, Liquor and Fuel group at Coles Myer. He was hired in 2003, and fired toward the end of 2004 by John Fletcher, Coles Myer chief executive officer after 14 months on the job, according to Bloomberg.

Duthie was a senior partner at Bain & Company in Sydney, where he was focused on performance improvement and retail/consumer goods practices, according to a statement from PEP.

The recent appointments coincide with PEP’s involvement in a high-profile takeover approach led by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts for Australia’s giant retailer Coles Myer. The transaction estimated to be worth A$16 billion will also be the largest corporate takeover in Australia, if successful. Until late last week, PEP, Blackstone Group and Bain Capital were looking to make a move on Coles Myer on their own. The trio has since, reportedly, linked up with the larger consortium comprising KKR, The Carlyle Group, CVC Asia Pacific, Newbridge Capital and Goldman Sachs.

In his new role, Duthie will be responsible for identifying and reviewing potential acquisitions, as well as working with portfolio company management to improve performance, the statement noted. At Bain, Duthie led a fundamental change program at Woolworths, a rival retailer to Coles Myer in Australia. He had also led private equity due diligence on three large private equity deals in the country.

Cain was as a spokesman for Pacific Equity Partners in May when the private equity firm announced a joint-acquisition of Godfrey’s Group, a vacuum cleaner retail chain. Cain was working as a consultant for PEP until he was appointed as a director in June, according to media reports. Cain started his career as an associate consultant at Bain & Co in London.