• Regis Turrini is former deals expert, restructured Vivendi
  • Reconciling politicians and investors was part of role at fund

Altice NV plans to hire Regis Turrini, the former chief of France’s investment arm, to manage its government and regulatory affairs, people familiar with the matter said.

Turrini’s nomination could be announced as early as this week, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing private considerations. The 56-year-old former Vivendi SA deals specialist brings experience in coordinating with governments at a time when Altice is taking a break from a streak of acquisitions to integrate and restructure assets in markets from France to Portugal and the U.S.

At France’s investment agency, Turrini’s role involved reconciling the concerns of politicians and investors. Part of that task meant convincing France’s ministers of finance and economy that the state is stronger when it refrains from interfering in day-to-day management of companies and focuses instead on financial goals. The French government ousted Turrini in July after less than a year in the job, in what it called a push to add a more industrial focus to the handling of its interests. 

Agence des Participations de l’Etat owns some $130 billion in shares in about 80 companies, ranging from the national lottery to automaker Renault SA. In his time managing APE, Turrini gained the support of some of France’s most influential CEOs, including Electricite de France SA’s Jean-Bernard Levy, Turrini’s former boss at Vivendi. He made a name for himself prior to that by unwinding some 33 billion euros ($36 billion) in debt at Vivendi from years of frantic deal-making and boasts an extensive address book of bankers.

A representative for Altice declined to comment. Le Monde reported the plan to hire Turrini earlier today.

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