Vardis is proud to support Lone Star Funds & Forterra Building Products in its appointments of Paul Lester as Chairman & Justin Atkinson & Divya Seshamani as NED's
Prior to joining Forterra Building Products as Chairman, Paul was the former CEO of VT Group plc.
Currently Paul is Chairman of Greenergy International, John Laing Infrastructure Fund (FTSE 250), Essentra (FTSE 250), Knight Square and Signia Wealth. Previously from 2002 to 2010 he was chief executive of VT Group plc. The support services company. He was also Chairman of Marine Current Turbines from 2010 to 2012. Prior to that, he was Group Managing Director of Balfour Beatty, Chief Executive of Graseby and a General Manager at Schlumberger. He was awarded a CBE in 2008.
Prior to joining Forterra Building Products as NED, Justin was the former CEO of Keller Group Plc.
Justin is a senior independent director of the Kier Group. He was the Chief Executive of Keller Group plc ("Keller") from 2004 to 2015. Previously, he had been Keller's Group Finance Director and its Chief Operating Officer. He trained and qualified as an accountant with Deloitte Haskins & Sells, now part of PwC, and spent the early part of his career with Thomson Reuters, before joining Keller in 1990. He is a member of the Audit Committee of The National Trust.
Joining Forterra Building Products as NED, Divya is the Managing Partner of Greensphere Capital.
Divya began her career as an investment banker followed by The Parthenon Group, a principal investment and strategy consulting firm. Divya was a principal with Unilever Ventures, Unilever PLCs venture capital arm where she focused on the evaluation and execution of deals as well as portfolio management. Most recently Divya was with the global infrastructure group in Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, GIC, where she was involved in making large scale direct investments in infrastructure globally. She is a director of Greenlight AD Power. Educated at Oxford (BA (Hons) in Politics, Philosophy and Economics) and at Harvard (MBA, the Harvard Business School), Divya has worked at a variety of stages in the private equity space – from venture stage investments to infrastructure and fund of funds. She has worked at board level on a number of small companies in the US and UK.
Brick maker Forterra floated on London Stock Exchange with £360m valuation as it seeks to capitalise on growing UK housing market. The flotation values Forterra at £360m. The initial public offering (IPO) comprises a sale of 70m shares, representing 35 per cent of the total, priced at 180p.
Forterra has been owned by US private equity firm Lone Star Funds since March last year when it was sold by German company Heidelberg Cement for around £1bn.
Forterra chief executive Stephen Harrison said: "We are excited to begin this new period as an independent company with a well-invested and efficient manufacturing base, and the appropriate capital structure to take advantage of the growing UK housing market. We welcome our new shareholders and look forward with confidence to the next phase of our development and growth as a listed company.”
Mark Mullen, a partner at Vardis said " We were delighted to be able to support Fonterra with their appointment of Chairman and NEDs and earlier CFO appointment, ahead of their successful float on the London Stock Exchange. We enjoyed working with Lone Star and Stephen, Fonterra's CEO and team. We look forward to continuing to support Lone Star."
Lone Star is a global private equity firm that invests in real estate, equity, credit and other financial assets. Since the establishment of its first fund in 1995, Lone Star has organized fifteen private equity funds with aggregate capital commitments totaling approximately $60 billion.
Forterra, formerly Hanson Building Products, is a leading supplier of building materials in the UK with approximately 1,600 employees and 18 manufacturing locations. The company is the leader in manufactured masonry products, with strong market positions in bricks, blocks and speciality products such as permeable block paving, precast concrete and chimney and roofing solutions. In 2015, it delivered earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation of GBP71.0 million on revenue of GBP290.0 million.