GROUPE ARNAULT, TH LEE INK DEAL

PARIS — Groupe Arnault, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton chairman Bernard Arnault’s private holding company, said Thursday it would form a joint venture with Boston-based equity firm TH Lee, Putnam Capital to create an investment vehicle in Europe.
To be called TH Lee Groupe Arnault Partners, it will invest in sectors including financial, business and information services, telecommunications and consumer products. A spokesman for Arnault, who controls fashion houses from Christian Dior to Louis Vuitton through LVMH, said the new venture will not concentrate on fashion-related investments. The new leveraged buyout firm will run offices in London and Paris, and perhaps other cities. Thomas H. Lee and Arnault will be on the investment committee. Richard S. Trutanic, senior managing director at Groupe Arnault, will serve as the joint venture’s senior managing partner and will recruit a team of private-equity professionals.
“We have seen from firsthand experience the compelling investment opportunities in Europe,” Arnault said in a statement. “We believe Tom Lee and the THL organization are ideal partners in this endeavor in view of their outstanding record in identifying companies with exceptional growth potential, together with their demonstrated ability to help create value by strengthening management, increasing access to expansion capital and crafting appropriate and timely exit strategies.”
TH Lee, Putnam Capital is a strategic alliance between the private-equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners and Putnam Investments, a money-management firm.