Candover brings in legal muscle

The troubled buyout firm has created the position of general counsel. Philip Price, who fills the role, was formerly the head of operations for SRM Global, a hedge fund group that sued the UK government over the Northern Rock crisis.

Candover, the UK-based buyout group, has appointed Philip Price as general counsel.

Price was formerly chief operating officer of SRM Global, the hedge fund group that sued the UK government over its handling of the nationalisation of retail bank Northern Rock. SRM, along with fellow hedge fund RAB Capital, owned 20 percent of the bank.

Philip Price

Price joins Candover at a time of extreme stress for the buyout firm, which is currently reviewing the investment strategy for its 2008 buyout fund with its limited partners, as its largest single investor – the listed feeder fund Candover Investments – has been forced to scale back its €1 billion commitment.

Candover is currently in talks with “selected parties” over the sale of Candover Investments, the firm revealed earlier this month. The listed entity’s share price has plunged from a 52-week high of £22.85 to a current price of £0.84.

Candover is currently cutting jobs in other areas as it seeks to put itself on a more secure financial footing. It’s Asian and Central and Eastern Europe investment teams – both added within the last 12 months – have been told to either become self-financing or face closure.

In the newly created position of general counsel, Price, whose experience also includes legal positions at UBS Investment Bank and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, will handle the firm’s legal, compliance and company secretarial functions, according to a statement on the buyout firm’s website.

A spokesman for the firm said Price’s hire was driven by the increasing complexity of the business and the growing regulatory burden.