Barclays picks Le Milon to head M&A in France, Belgium and Luxembourg

LONDON (Reuters) - Barclays BARC.L has appointed former BNP Paribas banker Gauthier Le Milon to head its M&A franchise in France, Belgium and Luxembourg amid a flurry of deals in the region as European boardrooms have regained confidence after a rollercoaster year.

FILE PHOTO: A Barclays bank building is seen at Canary Wharf in London, Britain May 17, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth/File Photo

Based in Paris, Le Milon will report to Barclays’ co-heads of banking for France, Belgium and Luxembourg - Ghislain de Brondeau and Yann Krychowski - as well as Pier Luigi Colizzi, who heads European M&A.

“We are busy on a range of ongoing transactions and Gauthier’s arrival will further enhance our M&A capabilities in the region,” Krychowski said.

Le Milon first joined BNP’s equity capital markets division in 2007 and quickly rose through the ranks to become a managing director for BNP’s French M&A team in 2016.

His appointment comes as M&A activity in France rose 55% to $78.7 billion in the third quarter of the year, according to Refinitiv data, as executives rushed to revisit deals paused at the height of the coronavirus pandemic with more than $1 trillion worth of quarterly transactions around the world.

Le Milon started his career at PwC in 2003 and later joined the corporate finance department of France’s stock market watchdog - Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) - where he oversaw Mittal’s takeover of Arcelor in 2006.

At BNP he represented French companies, including Casino Group on the restructuring of its Latin American assets and on the sale of Leader Price to Aldi.

Barclays’ investment banking business has been a major revenue driver for the British lender this year, helping it to weather the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the past fortnight, Barclays has advised on eight multi-billion transactions all across Europe, representing British betting firm William Hill WMH.L on its 2.9 billion pound sale to Caesars Entertainment CZR.O and The London Stock Exchange LSE.L in the 4.3 billion euro divestiture of Borsa Italiana to Euronext ENX.PA, among others.

“The French market is very competitive but we have a strong local presence and distinctive assets that can make a difference for our clients,” Colizzi said.

Reporting by Pamela Barbaglia, editing by Louise Heavens and Bernadette Baum