Inflexion Private Equity, the European mid-market buyout firm, has recruited Gareth Healy and Malcolm Coffin as investment director and investment executive from European banks Close Brothers and NM Rothschild & Sons respectively.
Healy was a managing director at Close Brothers where he advised the private equity community and was head of initial public offerings and management advisory as well as co-head of the technology team.
Inflexion’s segment of the lower European mid-market has been the subject of much interest. This week Close Brothers’ head of European financial sponsors Darren Redmayne also left the company to open US mid-market bank Lincoln International’s London office as a managing director of its European operations.
“Debt levels and relationships with banks are still good in the lower mid-market, while some smaller companies ought not to be public companies providing buying opportunities,” Healy said.
Some companies listed on AIM with a lower than £50 million market capitalisation receive limited or no market research and have limited liquidity due to this lack of visibility, he said. “These are living dead as everyone ignores them. Those sort of guys should be taken off the market. Only companies that float on AIM that have real momentum should be there.”
Simon Turner, managing partner at Inflexion, said: “These are the right times to be buying businesses, which will allow firms to see the real merits of working with a committed investor.” Public companies can often face investor resistance or simply not have sufficient capital to be able to expand through buy and build strategies, he said.
Healy set up Close Brothers’ initial public offering advisory business, which has advised numerous sales including the planned float of Charterhouse Capital Partners-owned over-50s leisure group Saga. This eventually led to a lucrative £6 billion ($11.8 billion; €8 billion) merger with Permira and CVC Capital Partners-owned vehicle breakdown service AA.
Healy joined Close Brothers three years ago after working at global bank UBS for seven years.
Coffin worked in Rothschild’s consumer products mergers & acquisitions team as assistant manager. Before joining Rothschild, Coffin trained as a chartered accountant at Deloitte & Touche.
Nicola Boyd and Anthony Bower also joined Inflexion last year.