Lord Birt joins Terra Firma as adviser

The London-based buyout firm has appointed Lord Birt, the former BBC director general and UK government consultant.

Lord John Birt, former director general of the BBC, is to join European private equity firm Terra Firma Capital Partners as an adviser.

According to a statement from Terra Firma, Lord Birt will eventually become involved in the fund’s portfolio business.

Lord Birt is to resign as strategy adviser to the Prime Minister, a move that will enable him to focus on commercial activities.

Lord Birt: joining the ranks at Terra Firma

Prior to his work with the UK Government, Lord Birt was an adviser to McKinsey & Co. The bulk of his career, however, has been spent in broadcasting. He joined the BBC in 1987 as deputy director general after a period at London Weekend Television producing World in Action and heading its news and programmes units.

As director general from 1992 to 2000, Lord Birt oversaw the BBC’s involvement with online and digital services and an internal restructuring, further separating broadcasting and commissioning.

Other luminaries to have served on Terra Firma’s advisory board in the past include former Conservative Party leader William Hague; Social Democratic Party peer Lord Owen; former German economic minister Otto Graf Lambsdorf; former French prime minister Michel Rocard; and former US assistant secretary of state, Richard Perle.

Founded in 1994, London and Frankfurt-based Terra Firma has completed deals with an aggregate value of over €30 billion, according to a company statement. Recent acquisitions in the UK include: East Surrey Holdings; Odeon and UCI Cinemas; and Waste Recycling Group. In Germany, the firm bought Viterra and Tank & Rast.