PAI Partners, the French private equity house formerly known as Paribas Affaires Industrielles, has hired Hamish Mackenzie as part of plans to build the firm’s profile in the UK.
Mackenzie, who joins the firm as a partner after six years as a director at UK-based Candover, will be located at the firm’s newly-launched London offices and will be in charge of PAI's activity in the United Kingdom. He has been involved in the private equity industry for 13 years, initially with Royal Bank of Scotland Group (at its subsidiaries Charterhouse and Royal Bank Development Capital) for seven years, prior to joining Candover.
Since closing its third buyout fund on E1.8bn in July 2002, PAI has been involved in several high-profile offers for UK companies, focusing particularly on consumer and leisure related industries. Most recently, the firm was part of an unsuccessful consortium to acquire Scottish & Newcastle’s 14,000 pub chain. The firm also made an offer for UK-based restaurant chain Pizza Express, and according to reports is also interested in Charterhouse’s Madame Tussauds business. The firm’s portfolio includes United Biscuits, the UK-based food manufacturer.
'London is a major financial centre where a large number of private equity transactions are originated', said Amaury de Seze, chairman and CEO of PAI. 'We have key investments in the UK and intend to take advantage of our sectoral expertise to further increase our presence in this market'.
Prior to opening the London office, PAI had a couple of partners focusing on the UK market, according to a company spokesperson. The firm already has offices in Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Madrid and Milan. PAI manages the firm’s buyout funds as well as the former Paribas Affaires Industrielles' portfolio of direct investments, giving an aggregate equity value of over E5bn.