Novalpina, launched by former TPG exec, hires European dealmaker from Platinum Equity

  • Bastian Lueken joined from Platinum Equity
  • Worked on deals in Europe
  • Firm targets 1 bln euros for debut fund

Novalpina Capital, launched by former TPG Europe chief Stephen Peel, has hired Bastian Lueken, who led an M&A group focusing on European investments at Platinum Equity, sources told Buyouts.

Lueken started at Novalpina this month, sources said. He joins the London firm as a founding partner.

Novalpina is in market with its debut fund targeting 1 billion euros ($1.12 billion) for investments in Europe, Buyouts exclusively reported in May. The firm is working with Park Hill Group and Brooklands Capital Strategies, a division of TPG Capital BD, on the fundraising, a source told Buyouts.

Fund I is expected to hold a first close later this year, the source said.

Novalpina will focus on “complex” situations in the European middle market, a source previously told Buyouts. This could include distressed situations but is broader than simply a distressed strategy, the source said. The firm generally makes control investments.

Lueken worked at Platinum Equity from 2011 until June. He was a principal at the firm. He led two investments, Exterion Media, an out-of-home advertising company, and Worldwide Flight Services, an independent air-cargo handler, according to a biography of Lueken.

Prior to Platinum, Lueken worked at TPG from 1999 to 2009, where he was on the European investment team. Before TPG, he worked on M&A and restructurings at Morgan Stanley, the biography said.

Lueken joined Peel and Stefan Kowski as founding partners at Novalpina. Kowski joined the firm from Centerbridge Partners, where he worked on European investments from 2014 to January 2017. Kowski previously worked on European investments at TPG from 2006 to 2014.

Peel was co-head of Europe and Asia at TPG from 1997 to 2014. He was a partner at the firm and founded the European office in 1997. In 2006, he launched TPG’s business in Russia and Turkey and assumed oversight of the firm’s Asian business. He moved to Hong Kong in 2008 to lead TPG’s activities in Asia.

Novalpina has a team of eight professionals so far in London and plans to continue growing, the source said.

Action Item: Novalpina’s Gazette filing:

Photo of Stephen Peel courtesy of Lenta.