Permira hires former Lehman banker to challenge CVC

The two European buyout groups are both expanding into multi-asset managers with the launch of Permira’s debt team under Peter Combe, a former Lehman Brothers banker, according to a report.

Permira, a European buyout group,  has hired one of Europe’s most senior corporate financiers to launch its new debt fund taking it head-to-head with CVC Capital Partners, a buyout rival also with a debt arm.

Peter Combe, a founder of the financial sponsors group at Lehman Brothers, will run the new business, according to Financial News, a trade newspaper.

Combe, who was chairman of financial sponsors and co-head of leveraged finance at Lehman, resigned in the summer from Lehman, which counted Permira among its advisory clients.

The report said he was seen as instrumental in helping the buyout firm gain access to UK gaming company Gala last year, when Cinven and Candover syndicated equity before its merger with Coral Eurobet.

Combe is the latest investment banker to join a private equity firm. Permira’s  nearest European rival CVC hired former Deutsche Bank leveraged finance co-head David Wood to launch its debt business, Cordatus, in the summer.

Meanwhile, veteran M&A banker John Studzinski resigned as head of corporate and investment banking at HSBC to join Blackstone, the world’s largest private equity fund, in September.