European people briefs, January 2014

Burda veterans take senior roles at Acton Capital

Financial technology entrepreneur Fritz Oidtmann is one of two new managing partners at Munich-based growth capital firm Acton Capital Partners. The other is Sebastian Wossagk, who was part of Acton’s founding team in 2008 when Burda Digital Ventures rebranded.

Oidtmann, who co-founded finance portal OnVista, joins from the consumer technology arm of Hubert Burda Media, which remains Acton’s biggest investor. The company is the sole LP in Acton’s inherited BDV Fund and also invested in Acton’s 2010-vintage, €150 million ($207 million) Heureka Fund, which has a later-stage focus than the firm’s legacy vehicle.

Heureka focuses on profitable, consumer-oriented Internet and mobile businesses, while the older BDV Fund is more venture capital-focused.

Octopus adviser hires venture briefs

London-based alternative assets-focused law firm MJ Hudson, which in July helped Octopus Investments launch a new fund, has bolstered its venture capital and private equity offering by snagging two lawyers active in the sectors.

Karma Samdup has joined as a partner from CMS Cameron McKenna, where he advised startups, VCs and business angels in the life sciences and technology sectors.

Graham Nicholson arrives as a consultant after working on buyout and development capital deals for SJ Berwin.The appointments follow London-based MJ Hudson’s merger with Jersey-based offshore firm VerrasLaw.?

N+1 Mercapital CEO Loizaga quits

Arguments over fund strategy at Spanish buyout firm N+1 Mercapital have cost CEO Javier Loizaga his job.

Loizaga resigned after the firm’s partners refused to sanction the extra spending required to take a new Brazilian fund to first close. Instead, the partners felt that N+1 Mercapital should focus on raising a new flagship fund, though they did not specify when that process would begin.

Replacing Loizaga on an interim basis is Ignacio Moreno, who was CEO of N+1 Private Equity before its merger with Mercapital last year. That deal brought the latter firm’s 2006-vintage, €550 million fund and N+1’s 2008-vintage, €304 million vehicle under one umbrella.

Loizaga remains a partner and shareholder, whose focus will now be on the Latin American portfolio built under the Mercapital fund.

Italy’s 21 Partners expands into Poland

Treviso, Italy-based 21 Partners has hired Andrzej Mierzwa, Dariusz Górka, Marek Modecki, and Dawid Sukacz to lead its new Polish operation, 21 Concordia.

The four managing partners will oversee a new lower mid-market fund that reached a €60 million first close in November.

Limited partners in the sector-agnostic fund include the European Investment Fund, the recently established Polish Growth Fund of Funds and some of 21 Partners’ existing investors.

On top of sourcing investment opportunities in Poland, 21 Concordia’s management team will seek expansion opportunities in Central Europe for companies from 21 Partners’ Italian and French portfolios.

Capita loses CEO to private equity

The long-serving CEO of Britain’s biggest outsourcing company Capita will step down to return to private equity.

Paul Pindar joined Capita in 1987 after advising on its £330,000 ($540,000) MBO for 3i, one of London’s oldest private equity houses.

Pindar plans to assume chairman positions at private equity portfolio companies.

The executive is already chairman of Integrated Dental Services, which Washington-based Carlyle and London-based Palamon Capital Partners acquired in 2011.

Compiled by Alex Derber