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Vestar Capital to Close Munich, Paris Offices

Vestar Capital Partners said Friday that it had closed its office in Munich, and has plans to close its Paris office by year-end. Each office had four employees. Speaking of the decision, Vestar Chief Daniel O’Connell said that the firm continues to be concerned about the volatile investment outlook for Europe.

Vestar Capital Partners confirmed today that it has closed its office in Munich and will close its Paris office by year-end. The announcement was made last week at the firm’s annual meeting. The offices each had four professionals.

In his remarks to investors last week, Daniel S. O’Connell, Vestar founder and chief executive officer, said that the decision was “ … a strategic, geographic move, based on a combination of market dynamics and appropriate resource allocation.”

Mr. O’Connell said that Vestar continues to be concerned about the volatile investment outlook for Europe. “We have strong domain expertise and operational and strategic capabilities in the US. We think we can best deploy these strengths in our home market, where we have 25 years of experience, with a laser focus on North America, middle-market private equity and our strong sectors: consumer, healthcare, financial services, and diversified industries.” Vestar said it planned to continue to build its domain expertise and strategic capabilities by adding staff in the US.

Robert L. Rosner, the Vestar managing director who had served as president of Vestar Europe, will return to the New York office. “More than a decade ago, we saw opportunity in Europe and successfully pursued it,” said Mr. Rosner. “However, markets change, so we need to remain flexible and adapt our model.”

Mr. O’Connell noted that while Vestar’s 11 years in Europe had been successful, the firm had been gradually withdrawing from Japan and Europe over the past several years as opportunities diminished. The firm had exited all but two European investments – AZ Electronic Materials and Seves SpA – and will continue to manage these investments from the US.

“While we have certainly slimmed down, eliminating our on-the-ground presence internationally, our US organization has grown in terms of size and skills. Since 2000, we have grown our team in the US by more than one-third. These numbers are indicative of our ongoing US emphasis and strategy and our commitment to continued growth in the US,” said Mr. O’Connell.