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Warburg hires former Poundland chair

Andrew Higginson, who joins as a senior advisor, is currently chairman of Morrisons

Global private equity firm Warburg Pincus has hired Andrew Higginson as a senior advisor to support the firm in identifying and evaluating new investments in the European consumer and retail sectors, the firm said in a statement.

Higginson is currently chairman of Wm Morrison Supermarkets, home shopping business N Brown Group and field sales agency McCurrach, and a director of Woolworths South Africa and the Rugby Football Union. He has also previously served as chairman of Warburg portfolio company Poundland, senior independent director of BskyB and as an executive director at Tesco for 15 years, Warburg said.

As well as working on investments in the consumer and retail sectors, Higginson will work more broadly across the other sectors in which Warburg invests, including financial services, and technology, media and telecommunications, the firm said.

Warburg bought a 76 percent stake in Poundland from Advent International in May 2010, investing £200 million (€272 million; $309 million) in an all-equity deal via the $15 billion global vehicle Warburg Pincus Private Equity X. The firm booked a 4.5x return and an internal rate of return of more than 50 percent when it partially exited the company through a listing on the London Stock Exchange last March valuing the company at £750 million (€1.02 billion; $1.16 billion).

Warburg is currently investing its eleventh private equity fund, an $11.2 billion global vehicle that closed in May 2013. Earlier this month the firm inked its first deal in Indonesia, entering a strategic partnership with Indonesian shopping malls operator and developer Nirvana Development. The two firms have formed a joint venture in which Warburg will invest $125 million, with an option to invest a further $75 million at a later date, PEI reported previously.