RBS Appoints Head for French Acquisition Unit

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has appointed Eric Mallaroni, formerly of Union Europeene de CIC (CIC) to head its new Paris operation. RBS, an established leader in the UK acquisition finance mid-market, aims to export its successful formula into Continental Europe and to this end is simultaneously establishing acquisition finance units in Germany and France. Michael Fking, formerly of BHF-Bank, was recently appointed to head the new German operation (EVCJ October/November 1998, page 28).

The French and German acquisition finance units form part of the newly established RBS Leveraged Finance Group, headed by Leith Robertson, which also incorporates RBS Acquisition Finance and RBS Mezzanine. RBS set up the umbrella structure for its leveraged finance operations to reinforce its commitment to the acquisition finance marketplace and to highlight its ability to transact both mid-market and larger deals Commenting on the cross-channel move, Leith Roberston said: “Targeting the French market is a critical plank to our European strategy. Underlying this belief is our commitment to ensuring that we provide a local service firmly rooted in the domestic financial markets”. Regarding Eric Mallaroni’s appointment, he added “Having built an award-winning business once already in his career, Eric has clearly demonstrated the qualities needed to spearhead our growth in this area”.

Eric Mallaroni, who has more than 15 years’ corporate finance experience, joined CIC in 1989 from Banque de Gestion Privee. He established CIC’s a acquisition finance business, which in 1997 was rated France’s No. 1 acquisition provider. Pierre Chabrelie, who worked with Mallaroni at CIC, is also joining RBS.

Eric Mallaroni believes that the French buyout market presents significant potential for growth, thanks to a growing trend among corporates towards divestment of non-core businesses, as well as the succession issues facing a significant proportion of the country’s privately-owned companies: “In France, venture capital is increasingly becoming a more accepted way of managing the transfer of corporate ownership. The entry of the Royal Bank, a respected name in acquisition finance, will be welcomed by investors and initially we intend to capitalise on its expertise by targeting deals in the mid-market sector”.