European Capital opens London office

The buyout and mezzanine firm will bring its “one-stop shop” approach to the capital, investing from its €750m fund, which closed last week.

European Capital, the European affiliate of US-based buyout and mezzanine firm American Capital Strategies, has opened a London office a week after closing its inaugural fund with $900 million (€750 million) of equity commitments.

The London office will be headed up by Simon Henderson, managing director with responsibility for UK buyouts, and Nathalie Faure Beaulieu, managing director and head of pan-European mezzanine.

Simon Henderson, managing director, European Capital

Henderson joined European Capital in September from Barclays Private Equity, having spent the last ten years focusing on UK buyouts, including Edotech, Fosbel Holdings and Luton Airport.

Faure Beaulieu was previously managing director and member of the investment committee for European investments at Mezzanine Management UK. Prior to joining Mezzanine Management in 1992, she worked at DG Investment Bank in London and has worked on 26 mezzanine transactions worth over €315 million since 1990.

The London office opens with five employees, including directors Matthew Gordon Clark and Jerry Tebbutt, also previously at Mezzanine Management UK, and is the second European Capital Financial Services office in Europe, following the opening of a Paris base in April.

According to a press release, the two offices are expected to have a total of over 20 people by year end. Henderson told PEO that he is planning to build the UK buyouts team to around eight people, while the mezzanine team will focus on hiring two associates.

Henderson added the firm plans to leverage the European Capital fund to at least one to one to give firepower in excess of €1.5 billion, and expects to complete “a handful of deals a year” over the next two years.

“We’re very different from traditional buyout houses as we will be providing all the equity, mezzanine and senior debt in our transactions,” said Henderson. “I’m convinced that is the way forward for midmarket deals.”

European Capital will invest between €5 million and €125 million per transaction in equity, mezzanine debt and senior debt to fund midmarket change of ownership deals.