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European dealmakers leave as TPG Capital rethinks region, say sources: Reuters

Three partners focused on investing in European companies have left TPG in recent months, leaving just two at the U.S. buyout firm in Europe working on new private equity deals, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The moves are part of a shift in strategy, with partners more focused on sectors globally rather than within regions, and mean TPG Capital, the private equity platform of the business, now has one partner in Europe working on infrastructure deals and an operations partner who will also work on European deals.

There are no immediate plans to replace the partners who left, the sources said, although a spokesman said TPG, which also has real estate and credit arms, will keep hiring in London and Europe.

“We continue to see significant opportunities in Europe and remain committed to our disciplined approach of making opportunistic investments across the Continent, focusing on companies where we can help deliver transformational growth,” Todd Sisitsky, managing partner at TPG Capital, said.

TPG Capital raised a $10.5 billion global fund in 2016.

Ramzi Gedeon, a partner who was focused on technology, media, and services investments in Europe and Abel Halpern, a long-serving partner who led the consumer-facing enterprise group in Europe, both left TPG in recent months, though still advise on some of its existing investments.

Halpern has now set up a new advisory firm.

Mark Corbidge, a partner in charge of industrials in Europe left TPG to pursue new opportunities in recent months while Jacob Polny, a Nordics-focused principal, a role less senior than partner, departed in the summer.

None of the individuals who have left TPG were immediately available for comment.

Founded in 1992, TPG has been in Europe since 1998 and invested in companies including Denmark’s Saxo Bank, and British restaurant chain Prezzo.

But unlike its model in Asia, TPG does not have a specific fund for the European region.

Industry data provider Preqin says 84 percent of TPG’s known aggregate buyout deal value between 2000 and 2017 took place in North America, compared with 7 percent in Europe and 9 percent in Asia and Australasia.

TPG cut its percentage of European deals to 14 percent between 2014 and so far in 2017, from 35 percent in 2002-2005, the Preqin data showed.

And so far in 2017, TPG Capital has not made any direct acquisitions in Europe although there were some real estate transactions, according to Thomson Reuters data.

TPG, which has also built up major businesses in credit, growth equity and real estate investments, now has $73 billion under management globally.

In Europe, partners Edward Beckley, who joined earlier this year, leads TPG’s infrastructure investments and Dirk Eller, a partner in the operations group, will also be on the investment side, a source said. Antonio Capo, who focuses on operations, is the third remaining partner in TPG Capital in the region.

Among European portfolio assets listed on its website, TPG is still invested in several British firms, including educational publisher TES Global and discount shops Poundworld.