Hicks Muse splits as Europe beats US arm

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The Independent Online

Superior bonuses and investment returns from European private equity deals compared with US transactions have resulted in a parting of the ways for some of the partners in Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, the Dallas-based buyout fund.

Superior bonuses and investment returns from European private equity deals compared with US transactions have resulted in a parting of the ways for some of the partners in Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, the Dallas-based buyout fund.

Lyndon Lea, who has led the firm's European operations for seven years, has completed a separation which will split Hicks Muse Europe from its Texan sister operation. The two are now separate entities and Mr Lea will shortly announce a new name for his operation.

The demerger has been on the cards for months because Hicks Muse Europe partners, and investors, have wanted to ally their interests with a focused European operation rather than share bonuses and returns with the US.

A spokeswoman said the raising of a new European private equity fund gave Mr Lea the opportunity to complete a split. Before, Mr Lea and his London-based associates were part of a global operation, with everyone sharing the "carry" or stakes in investments reserved for partners. She said: "What the investors wanted was that if you are responsible for the European fund then you get the benefits and rewards rather than it being shared with the US fund."

The returns from Mr Lea's European investments, such as Yell, have outstripped those of his US counterparts in recent years, making a split imperative.

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