OpCapita LLP, the European private equity firm, today announces the appointments of Gulshan Batool to Investment Director, Marie Lafragette to Associate and Stefano Shuster to Associate.
Gulshan Batool is responsible for the origination, execution and monitoring of new investments. Prior to joining OpCapita, Gulshan spent over five years working in the private equity industry, focusing on operational improvements in assets in the Retail/Leisure and Healthcare sectors. She previously spent six years working in investment banking, including at Goldman Sachs International and N.M Rothschild & Sons in their Healthcare and Retail/Leisure teams. Gulshan has a BA from Magdalene College, University of Cambridge and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she was a Fulbright Scholar.
Marie Lafragette and Stefano Shuster are both engaged in the evaluation and execution of new investments as well as in the monitoring and implementation of operational initiatives at portfolio companies.
Prior to joining OpCapita, Marie was an Associate at Credit Suisse where she worked on executions of M&A, LBO and financing transactions. She started her career working in the Consumer & Retail team in London, before spending a year in the M&A team in the New York office. Marie has a Masters in Finance from HEC Paris and MSc in Civil Engineering from ESTP Paris. She is a French native.
Prior to joining OpCapita, Stefano was an Associate at Morgan Stanley in London, where he worked on M&A and IPO transactions across a variety of sectors, including fintech, telecommunications and education. Previously, he was an Associate at the Boston Consulting Group in Milan, where he worked on strategic and operational projects for consumer goods, retail and financial services companies. Stefano has an MBA, with Distinction, from London Business School and an MSc in International Management, cum laude, from Bocconi University. He is an Italian native.
Henry Jackson, Founder and Chief Executive of OpCapita said: "I am very pleased to welcome Gulshan, Marie and Stefano to the OpCapita team. We look forward to working closely with them to continue to develop our portfolio and drive sustainable value creation through hands-on operational improvement."
The new appointments continue the development and strengthening of OpCapita's team, which has increased from eight to 16 people over the last three years.
In September 2016, OpCapita announced the final closing of its second fund, OpCapita Consumer Opportunities Fund II, at the hard cap of €350 million. The Fund is focused on investing in underperforming businesses in the consumer, retail and leisure sectors in Europe. Fund II was significantly oversubscribed and received strong support from a diverse group of global investors, including pension funds, endowments, funds of funds, family offices and charitable foundations, predominantly from the US and Europe. In June 2017, OpCapita completed the purchase of The Football Pools, a UK-based operator of offline and online gaming, themed around predicting football match outcomes.
Founded in 2006, OpCapita is a European private equity advisory firm specialising in the retail, consumer and leisure industries. OpCapita actively invests in companies where there is an opportunity to deliver improvements in profitability and create long-term, sustainable value.
OpCapita's team of in-house operating partners has decades of experience in consumer-facing businesses and a widespread network of contacts and specialists. The team adopts a hands-on approach to the companies in which it invests, drawing on exceptional management talent to deliver on its investments.
Over the past 11 years, OpCapita has invested over €500 million in businesses in the UK, France, Germany and Spain. OpCapita closed its first dedicated fund, OpCapita Consumer Opportunities Fund LP, at the end of 2014. Its second dedicated fund, OpCapita Consumer Opportunities Fund II LP, closed on €350m in 2016 and was significantly oversubscribed.
Founded in 1987, Merkal has grown to become a leading Spanish footwear and accessories retailer focused on the low-mid segment. The Company operates 215 stores in city centres, shopping centres, retail parks and suburban areas across Spain.
Merkal offers a comprehensive range of good quality own-label and branded products at affordable prices. The assortment is targeted at families, with a special focus on women and children.
The Company has head-offices in San Sebastian and Barcelona, and logistics facilities in Zaragoza. It employs circa 1,000 people across the country.
For further information, please contact:
Andrew Honnor/Matthew Goodman/James Madsen
Tel: +44 207 952 2000
José García Villardefrancos
Tel: +34 687 992 789