Palamon recruits new partner

The pan-European mid-market investor has expanded its investment team with the recruitment of Matthew Turner from PPM Ventures.

Matthew Turner, formerly director in charge of group business development at PPM Ventures, the private equity arm of UK insurance company Prudential, has agreed to join Palamon Capital Partners.

Turner, aged 40, will join Palamon as a partner in February 2005, following 16 years at PPM Ventures and will 'play a major role in the continued development of Palamon's pan-European investment strategy', according to Louis Elson, managing partner of Palamon.

Turner joined Prudential as a lawyer in 1986, before becoming an investment professional in 1989 at PPM and was appointed a director in 1997.

During his time at PPM, Turner was involved in a number of major transactions, including the £235 million (€337 million; $432 million) MBO of UK gaming operator Gala Group and the €550 million buyout of Pharmacia Diagnostics from European pharmacueutical company Pfizer in April 2004.

Commenting on his appointment, Turner said in a statement: “It is an exceedingly exciting time to become a part of Palamon’s team as its investment programme accelerates.”

Earlier this year, Palamon completed its largest investment to date with the €155 million acquisition of the European division of US-headquartered theme park operator Six Flags Inc.

That transaction, made from the firm’s first, €440 million fund, Palamon European Equity LP, meant the fund was approximately 75 percent committed according to the firm, which will likely return to the fundraising arena at the end of this year or early next year according to sources.

In September, PPM Ventures announced the appointment of 39-year-old Neil MacDougall as managing director, replacing Jonathan Morgan as head of the firm.