Boston-based BancBoston Capital (BBC), the private equity investment arm of FleetBoston Financial, has appointed Christian Heidl to the position of investment officer for its five-person later-stage European investment team based out of London.
Heidl joins BancBoston from Deutsche Beteiligungs, the private equity partner of Deutsche Bank, where he was a senior investment manager in Frankfurt and Munich.
Heidl will be responsible for leveraged buyouts, particularly in German-speaking countries. Heidl said he is the only native German speaker on the team.
The opportunity “to be responsible for deal flow and execution for a whole country” attracted Heidl to the position.
“Germany represents only 12% of the U.K./European portfolio. That’s the reason they hired me,” he said, because Germany is “underrepresented.”
BancBoston Capital has invested $450 million in Europe and the U.K. to date.
“An increase depends on the market, but increasing that number from 12% to 20%, to 25% over three to four years is a quite realistic goal,” he said.
Germany is increasingly considered to offer attractive opportunities for private equity investors, as the country’s economy is liberalized and tax incentives take effect. According to European Venture Capital Association figures released earlier this month, Germany had the third largest private equity market in Europe last year, behind the U.K. and France. German firms raised EURO6.1 billion ($5.2 billion) in funds (13% of the European total) and invested EURO4.8 billion (14% of the total). Germany also accounted for the highest number of individual private equity investments in Europe last year, with just over 3,000.
Heidl declined to name specific sectors his team was thinking of investing in, but did say he has experience investing in telecommunications, direct marketing, printing, mechanical engineering and auto suppliers. He said the latter two represent good opportunities for leveraged transactions, as they are stable and mature industries in Germany. But, he added, “The leveraged buyout team isn’t focused on a particular sector.”
Personally for Heidl, he said he is pleased to be working in London, where the financial community is based and for BancBoston Capital, in particular, which he said “is a solid and efficient investor with deep pockets, a relatively flat hierarchy and a quick decision process.”
All of this, he said, adds up to better professional opportunities.
BancBoston Capital provides equity sponsorship, co-investment and mezzanine capital for buyouts, recapitalizations and expansion of mid-size companies. BancBoston Capital focuses on providing capital to middle-market companies in a wide range of industries. Equity investments range from $5 million to $30 million.