Hicks launches PE firm

In the latest stage of his very busy retirement, Tom Hicks has made a formal return to private equity with the launch of Dallas-based Hicks Equity Partners and the hiring of three managing directors for the firm.

Less than four years after stepping down from the private equity firm that bore his name, Thomas Hicks has launched an eponymous private equity firm. Hicks’ has hired three managing directors to run a new private equity arm, Hicks Equity Partners.

Hicks: con't call it
a comeback

In late 2004, Tom Hicks left the Dallas buyout firm he co-founded, Hicks Muse Tate & Furst (now HM Capital Partners). He subsequently launched a series of projects under the umbrella of his family investment company, Hicks Holdings.

Now, Hicks is making a formal return to the private equity industry. He has tapped Robert Swartz to lead the effort. Swartz has an operations background: he was formerly chairman and chief executive of Centex HomeTeam Services, the home security installation and sales operations division of Dallas-based Centex Corporation.

“Rob Swartz is a seasoned financial and operational executive whose financial, M&A and other experience will be tremendously helpful as we continue to identify and pursue attractive investment opportunities,” Hicks said in a statement.

Eric Neuman and Christina Vest, two of Hicks’ colleagues at Hicks Muse Tate & Furst who followed him to Hicks Holdings, are also managing directors of the new enterprise.

Among Hicks Holdings’ other efforts are Hicks Sports Group, which manages several US and UK sports teams Hicks’ owns or has an interest in, Hicks Real Estate Holdings, a real estate development joint venture with Gatehouse Capital Corporation and Hicks Trans American Partners, which pursues corporate acquisitions and real estate development projects in Argentina.

Tom Hicks also formed a special purpose acquisition company this year which recently raised $552 million through a listing on the American Stock Exchange, said to be the largest IPO of its kind. The SPAC will acquire one or more non-energy businesses in the US or Canada through a merger, capital stock exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, reorganisation or similar business combination, Hicks has said. The vehicle has 24 months to complete an acquisition or be liquidated.