Clayton Dubilier Eyes Europe

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, which in May launched its sixth buyout fund, a $3 billion (ecu 2.7 billion) vehicle, plans to embark on an expansion programme in Europe, following in the footsteps of players such as Credit Suisse First Boston, The Carlyle Group, Texas Pacific Group and Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst. The group has appointed Christopher Mackenzie, former president of GE Capital Europe, as managing director to head a London office (see page 30), and to coordinate Clayton Dubilier’s European expansion.

Until now, Clayton Dubilier has focused solely on its domestic market. The group in June closed its first European deal, acquiring Thyssen Schulte Bautechnik for a reported DM425 million (ecu 215 million).

Clayton Dubilier principal William Barbe said “We had a basic premise from the word go that we would open our first European offices after closing our first deal”. Clayton Dubilier will transfer its US investment strategy to Europe, investing a minimum of $100 million per transaction alongside management.

William Barbe said the firm expects to invest less than 20% of Fund VI in Europe. Clayton Dubilier will add senior personnel, including another operating partner, to its team in the coming year.