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Citi spinoff mints $4.4 billion fortune for Europe buyout barons



About three decades ago, a group of Citigroup dealmakers including Donald Mackenzie, Steven Koltes and Rolly van Rappard left the Wall Street giant to strike out on their own.
That move has proved lucrative, with the trio now among the biggest winners of this week’s long-awaited initial public offering of CVC Capital Partners.
The three founding partners make up most of the roughly $4.4 billion fortune that senior CVC figures hold through disclosed stakes in the Luxembourg-based buyout firm after it began trading at ₹17.34 ($18.60) per share on Friday, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Mackenzie is also pocketing a windfall of at least $175 million by selling stock through the Amsterdam listing, helping push his net worth above $1 billion and sealing his status as one of Europe‘s richest private equity figures.

A representative for CVC, which priced its IPO at ₹14 per share on Friday, declined to comment.

Beyond allowing the founding partners to cash out part of their wealth in the closely held business, CVC’s listing is also fueling hopes of a rebound in Europe’s IPO market, even though a full-blown recovery in listings isn’t fully expected until next year.

Koltes, 68, is also selling at least a $40 million stake through the IPO, further trimming his connections to the firm after stepping back from active roles in 2022 to pursue other interests. Those include investments in artificial intelligence, outdoor lifestyle and sustainable food companies.Mackenzie, 67, similarly announced this year that he will no longer be involved in CVC’s day-to-day operations. Van Rappard will remain as the sole chairman following the IPO, having previously shared the title with his fellow founding partners.The 63-year-old, who isn’t selling any stock, will be CVC’s biggest individual shareholder with a 6.7% stake worth about $1.3 billion, based on the company’s opening share price. Other major disclosed shareholders include chief executive officer Rob Lucas, 61, who controls a $659 million stake, and managing partner Javier de Jaime Guijarro, 59, whose holdings are worth $646 million.

Citi Origins
CVC traces its origins to a London-based arm of Citigroup’s venture capital unit, which spun out of the Wall Street firm in 1993 through a management buyout to become a standalone business.

Over the years, it transformed from a company with just a handful of professionals into one of Europe’s largest private equity houses, becoming renowned along the way for its hard-charging culture.

High-profile deals ranged from buying stakes in Swiss watchmaker Breitling AG to the Six Nations Rugby competition. But its 2006 purchase of the Formula One racing series cemented CVC’s reputation with investors.

By the time CVC sold the business to US billionaire John Malone’s Liberty Media just over a decade later, the buyout firm returned 500% to investors, ranking among the best on record and marking a pivotal moment for the company as it built out its brand globally.

CVC founding partner Michael Smith, now 71, had by then retired along with some of his other peers and handed the chairman role to Mackenzie, Koltes and van Rappard. The trio has helped steer the company toward a public listing since at least 2022, with previous attempts before this month’s debut hampered by volatile markets.

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