Mackenzie steps back at CVC, European buyout giant

Donald Mackenzie

By Mark McSherry

Europe’s largest buyout firm CVC Capital Partners announced that Scotsman Donald Mackenzie, one of its co-founders and most successful dealmakers, is stepping back ahead of its public listing.

Mackenzie, 66, was one of a small group of executives at Citibank who spun out in 1993 to form what is now one of Europe’s biggest private equity firms.

CVC now manages €188 billionn in assets and last year raised €26 billion for the world’s biggest-ever buyout fund.

CVC said Mackenzie “has decided to step back from an active role with CVC to focus on his private interests.”

CVC said Mackenzie “will become Honorary Co-Chair with Steve Koltes and will remain on CVC’s Board of Directors in a non-executive capacity.”

Mackenzie said: “When we founded CVC in the early 90s it was our ambition to create a multi-generational business that would continue to flourish long after the founders had gone.

“I believe we have achieved that. The business is in very good shape and in good hands.

“To create a successful business like CVC you need many ingredients, but above all you need great colleagues, good partners and strong friendships; I have been very lucky to have had all of these and I thank them for their contribution, this has been a team effort.”

Rolly van Rappard, Co-Founder and Non-Executive Chair of CVC, said: “I have been working in partnership with Donald since the very early days of CVC.

“On a personal level he is a close friend and confidant, and on a professional level he is a charismatic deal leader, with investment judgement that is second to none – a true pioneer for CVC and the private equity industry.

“His talent, commitment and strategic foresight have helped make CVC what it is today.”

Mackenzie joined CVC in 1988. Prior to joining CVC, he worked at 3i Plc.

Mackenzie is a Chartered Accountant and holds an LLB degree from the University of Dundee.

Mackenzie led CVC’s buyout of racing company Formula One, one of the firm’s most lucrative deals. CVC sold Formula One to US billionaire John Malone’s Liberty Media in a transaction valuing the sport at $8 billion in 2016.

CVC has also been involved in a series of other high-profile deals, acquiring assets including the Six Nations rugby tournament and Unilever’s tea business.