Former Towerbrook Executives Said to Plan Own Buyout Firm

Three former executives of Towerbrook Capital Partners, a private-equity firm once owned by Soros Fund Management, are planning to start their own buyout firm, said three people with knowledge of the matter.

Patrick Smulders and Adam McLain, both managing directors, and Rayhan Davis, a senior principal, left Towerbrook earlier this year. The three are speaking to investors about raising their own European buyout fund, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

The executives are striking out alone amid a difficult time for private-equity managers looking to raise their first pool of capital. A total of six such Europe-based firms raised 912 million euros ($972 million) in 2014, compared with 17 who raised 3.3 billion euros in 2008, according to data provider Preqin Ltd.

Smulders was involved in a number of Towerbrook’s investments, including Belgian metal refining company Metallum and U.K. aircraft-interiors maker AIM Aviation. Prior to joining Towerbrook in 2004, he spent almost a decade at Doughty Hanson, two of the people said. McLain was Towerbrook’s general counsel in Europe, while Davis worked in the financing team, the people said.

Towerbrook, which has informed its investors of the departures, has grown significantly since spinning out from Soros in 2005. In 2013, the company, which has offices in New York and London, raised $3.5 billion for its fourth pool of capital, almost triple the amount of its second fund in 2006, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

A spokesman for Towerbrook and Davis declined to comment. Smulders didn’t respond to phone requests seeking comment. McLain didn’t respond to requests to get in touch via LinkedIN.

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