Vestar Capital Opens in Milan –

Rather than follow the herd and launch its European operation from London, Vestar Capital Partners has gone straight into continental Europe and, to that objective, has opened an office in Milan. At the same time the firm has announced that it has strengthened its existing team in Paris.

Two managing partners; Giorgio Gandini and Marco Mantica will staff the Milan office. Gandini has considerable experience of private equity investing, most recently as deputy head of Mediocredito Lombardo‘s merchant banking division where he was responsible for its closed-end fund business. Mantica joins from SG Cowen where he spent seven years as head of the Italian corporate finance department.

Gandini and Mantica will also draw on John Magliana who will be a senior adviser to Vestar Capital Partner’s Milan office. Magliana is employed and will continue to be employed as managing director and general manager, Italia, for The Royal Bank of Scotland in Italy. This must please The Royal Bank of Scotland Leveraged Finance Group, which will open an office in Italy during 2001.

Massimo Puccio and Luca Manzoni, both ex-SG Cowen in Milan, join Gandini and Mantica. Vestar Capital Partners existing Paris office is strengthened by the appointment of Vincent Fesquet and Jean-Francois Felix.

Fesquet will be an executive director and he joins from BC Partners. He had worked in that firm’s Paris office since 1997. Felix joins as vice president from Equinoxe Industries, which he co-founded as the European affiliate of Dimeling, Schreiber & Park, another U.S. private equity firm.

Fesquet and Felix join Robert Rosner in Paris. Rosner is both a founding partner of Vestar Capital Partners and head of the firm’s European offices, the first of which Paris, was launched in September last year.