Permira boss to stand down

THE chairman of Permira, the renowned private equity group, is to stand down, it emerged last night, to focus on turning around its ailing portfolio of companies. <br /><br />It is understood that Damon Buffini will search for new deals, seeking to add to the firm&rsquo;s holdings in his new position.<br /><br />The news ends speculation that the 47-year-old was set on retiring, and shows his commitment to reinventing the company. <br /><br />Buffini had been under fire for offering harsh terms to investors who wanted to opt-out of a commitment to Permira&rsquo;s latest buy-out fund. <br /><br />He has also been criticised for the poor performance of recent deals at the group, including a deal with Valentino, an Italian fashion firm.<br /><br />It is understood he will stand down from the chairmanship in 2010, but will remain at Permira as a full-time partner. He will also sit on the board and investment committee at the company. <br /><br />Permira has been struggling as companies in its portfolio face the downturn. Once a top-performer amongst Europe&rsquo;s private equity groups, Permira is now suffering as clients, including Gala Coral, battle the financial storm. Permira was not available for comment last night.