Quadrant Private Equity closes new fund at $850 million

14/03/2016 News

Leading Australian buyout firm Quadrant Private Equity has closed its seventh fund at $850 million, setting the benchmark for other sponsors seeking to raise capital this year.

Quadrant, led by Chris Hadley, Marcus Darville and Justin Ryan, hit a hard cap of $850 million on Wednesday night having started raising in mid January.

In a heartening sign for a handful of Quadrant's rivals planning similar-sized raisings this year, it's understood Quadrant had to turn away or scale back a number of investors. The interest was split fairly evenly between local and offshore funds.

Quadrant raised off the back of a busy 12 months. Last year's initial public offering rally was triggered by Quadrant's IVF investment, Virtus Health, which has soared 43 per cent since listing.

It also helped fundies make money in Kiwi retirement village operator Summerset, which it sold down in stakes before bringing it to Australia.

Quadrant is also preparing to float two existing portfolio companies – Burson Auto Parts and media information business iSentia – in coming months and late last year bought instant boiling water business Zip Industries, and Perth-based pet food retailer City Farmers.

The firm also acquired APN News & Media's 50 per cent share in the struggling APN Outdoor for $69 million in October last year.

News of Quadrant's hard close will spread quickly through the private equity community. Fund-raising has been a dominant topic at industry events for the past three years, with a rapidly changing environment and investor base.

Firms that have been able to raise – such as Quadrant and Archer Capital – have hit their targets quickly, while the rest have battled through drawn-out offers.

The biggest raising still in the market is Pacific Equity Partners which publicly spoke about plans to raise $2.5 billion last year. PEP's yet to announce a close.

Elsewhere, a Macquarie Group-controlled infrastructure fund has emerged as the fourth bidder for Transpacific Industries Group's $NZ1 billion ($931 million) New Zealand waste business, as revealed by Street Talk Online.

The fund joins listed Kiwi infrastructure and utilities fund Infratil and private equity giant The Carlyle Group, who will fight it out on Friday when final bids are due for the Kiwi garbage unit.

Macquarie's interest follows the firm's past investment in US trash companies.

(First published in The Australian Financial Review, 28 February 2014)

Writen by Global Administrator, 14/03/2016 News