July 21st, 2011 – Advent International, the global private equity firm, today announced that Georges Casala has joined Advent as an Operating Partner. He will advise the firm on investment opportunities and supporting portfolio companies in the food and consumer goods sectors. In this capacity, he will draw on his entrepreneurial expertise and experience in these sectors, notably his 37 years working with Group Danone.
Georges Casala began his professional career in 1968 with General Foods, first in France as deputy financial director and then in the marketing management team of General Foods in the United States (1971-72). He then joined BSN, which became Group Danone, taking on several activities in both the marketing and sales departments.
In 1980, Georges Casala was promoted CEO of Danone’s Italian subsidiary. He then became Chairman and CEO of the newly acquired The Dannon Company in the United States (1982-1989). In 1989, Georges Casala returned to Europe to manage Danone in France and Northern Europe. In 2000, he joined the Executive Committee of Group Danone and in 2003, he was responsible for the turn around of the biscuits division, sold in 2008 to Kraft, and of which he held the presidency of for two years, until 2010.
Georges Casala has been on the Board of several companies and an active member of many food industry organisations both in France and abroad.
He holds a degree from the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP) and a Masters in Economy from the University of Paris.
Pascal Stefani, Managing Director of Advent International in France, declared: “We are very happy to welcome Georges Casala to our Operating Partner Programme. Thanks to his unique expertise acquired during his time at Danone, Georges will help up develop our understanding of the foods sector (where we notably invested in BCS and Elior) as well as in distribution (where we are present in Gérard Darel and Stokomani).”
Georges Casala added: “I am delighted to join Advent International, after having been able to measure their professionalism and their capacity to accompany companies in external growth, thanks to the 6.6 billion euros raised in 2008, as well as their international presence across the world. I am keen to accompany Advent’s portfolio companies and their management in their development and to assist the teams in detecting new opportunities.”