25 November 2015
OpCapita appoints John Von Spreckelsen as Non-Executive Chairman
OpCapita LLP, the European private equity firm, today announces that John von Spreckelsen has been appointed to the newly-created role of Non-Executive Chairman.
John has been an Operating Partner at OpCapita since 2006. He is one of European retail's most experienced and respected executives, with a track record of more than 40 years in turnaround management. As Non-Executive Chairman of OpCapita, he will continue to play an active role in sourcing opportunities in the European consumer, retail and leisure sectors, as well as acting as a senior advisor for all OpCapita portfolio companies. He continues to be Chairman of BUT, a leading home equipment retailer in France, and NKD, the German discount clothing retailer. BUT has been an OpCapita investment since 2008 and NKD since December 2013.

The new role of Chairman marks the latest strengthening of OpCapita's team following a number of appointments this year. Helen Gaffney and Javier Gonzalez joined as Associates, Simon Millerchip re-joined as Chief Financial Officer and Head of Compliance at OpCapita and Caroline Crowley was appointed to the newly created role of Director of Investor Relations. The team has increased from eight to 13 since mid-2014.

OpCapita closed its first dedicated fund, OpCapita Consumer Opportunities Fund LP, at the end of 2014. The Fund has so far made two investments: NKD in March 2014; and La Sirena Alimentación Congelada, the leading frozen food retailer in Spain, in December 2014.

Henry Jackson, Chief Executive of OpCapita, commented: "I am thrilled that John has taken on the role of OpCapita's Chairman at an exciting time for the firm as we embark on the next phase of our development.

Since he joined OpCapita as a founding Operating Partner, the firm has benefited from John's invaluable experience and expertise in turnaround management and we look forward to his continuing contribution to our ambitious plans."

John von Spreckelsen said: "I am delighted to become the Chairman of OpCapita having seen it progress so significantly during my nine years at the firm. We remain as committed as ever to the commercial success of the business and the delivery of superior returns for our investors."

About John von Spreckelsen
John's distinguished career spans executive roles at the UK major food retailers, Somerfield and Budgens, as well as a seven-year tenure as Chairman of Thorntons plc, the chocolate manufacturer and retailer.

In 1988 he established his own turnaround company which delivered a successful transformation at Budgens between 1991 and 2000. This included the placing of new shares at a premium to the existing share price. When John joined Budgens its share price was 23p and by the time he left it was about £1.

In 2000 he became executive chairman of Somerfield and helped to engineer a transformation that saw the supermarket's shares produce a return in excess of 300%, and four times that of Tesco's, during his five-and-a-half-year tenure.

John stepped down from Somerfield after the retailer was sold to a consortium of four financial investors in a 197p-a-share transaction in 2005 that valued the equity of the food retailer at £1.1 billion.

He also was Chairman of Safestore plc, which he led to a successful IPO in 2007.