Vision rehires Citi LBO banker Shafer -sources

Wed Sep 1, 2010 1:26pm EDT

* Former Lehman banker Shafer joined Citi as MD in June

* Vision owns British "rent-to-own" retailer Brighthouse

By Quentin Webb and Simon Meads

LONDON, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Private equity firm Vision Capital has rehired Matt Shafer from Citigroup (C.N), two people familiar with the matter said, less than three months after Citi poached him to bolster its team advising buyout firms.

Citi suffered a series of senior defections from its European investment banking business earlier this year, including several departures to Barclays Plc (BARC.L) unit Barclays Capital. It countered by making a string of appointments, including Shafer. [ID:nLDE6520PL]

Shafer worked for Lehman Brothers and Nomura (8604.T) before first joining Vision last year.

He joined Citi on June 7 as a managing director in its financial entrepreneurs group, which advises private equity firms on leveraged buyouts (LBOs) and other matters.

Vision, the former owner of collapsed British wine merchants Threshers and Wine Rack, specialises in buying whole portfolios of companies from private equity firms and conglomerates. It is looking at opening a U.S. office, one of the people said.

Its biggest investment by revenue is Brighthouse, which has resurrected the "rent-to-own" model in the British retail sector, offering washing machines, sofas and flat-screen televisions on a pay-weekly basis to customers who struggle to get credit.

Citi and Vision declined to comment. Shafer did not immediately respond to telephone and e-mail requests for comment. (Editing by David Holmes)

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