Our team is known for acting for some of the most well regarded VC funds and mid-market private equity players in Australia.
The team has acted for investors, investee companies, management teams and advisors such as AMP PE/CHAMP Ventures, Archer Capital, Ellerston Capital, Helmsman Funds Management, Innovation Capital, Kestrel Capital, Lend Lease Ventures and TDM Asset Management.
The team’s high level of partner involvement and commerciality is also highly regarded. Partners are known for their genuine client care, practical solutions and direct access. They are actively involved through all stages of a client’s matter. According to Chambers & Partners, “client care is exceptional – an actual partner is available and does the work with no filtering process.”
The team advises on all aspects of the private equity landscape including:
- seed investments, angel investments and early stage funding
- fund establishment and government grants
- private equity and venture capital investments and due diligence
- management buy-outs
- management equity schemes and participation
- portfolio work for the investment companies of private equity clients
- warranty insurance, whether for private equity buyers or sellers, or in the capacity as advisers to the underwriters.
In addition to our legal knowledge and expertise, our clients also benefit from our extensive network, which we leverage to assist clients in raising or investing capital, and sourcing acquisition targets, local directors or industry contacts with particular expertise.
Our network comes from our proud history of participating in the middle market private equity and M&A space, as well as our long-standing work with early stage companies.
Our team includes some of the sector’s most experienced practitioners. Partner John Reen has specialised in private equity since 1995 and was responsible for assisting with the establishment of some of the original PE/VC firms in Australia. Rob Sauer, a consultant in our Private Equity team, was a founding shareholder in ResMed – now listed on the New York Stock Exchange with a market capitalisation in excess of $7 billion. Rob has previously been the chairman of the Investment Committee for an Innovation Fund and, among a swathe of other positions, currently sits on the Advisory Committee of Black Citrus, with whom the firm has an association.
Water industry: We acted for a PE fund in connection with its initial investment in a significant player in the water industry. We also acted for the investee in connection with over 10 bolt acquisitions which culminated in an exit transaction with an enterprise value of $250 million (by sale of all equity to an ASX listed company) achieving a spectacular 220% IRR for our client (and an even higher return for the management team).
Technology company: We acted for BigTinCan, a technology company, in both rounds of its series A funding. It raised $5 million in its first series A round at the end of 2013. BigTinCan was able to raise a further $5 million by issuing further series A shares in an A2 round in early 2015 through a unique investment structure that allowed existing shareholders to participate by way of convertible notes pending the raising of further equity from new shareholders. The new shareholders set the price for the conversion for the existing shareholders.
PE in public: We have recently been advising PE fund manager Kestrel Capital in connection with its minority investments in a number of ASX listed companies. We also advised TDM Asset Management in connection with its investment in the (now) publicly listed Pacific Smiles Group. The company successfully floated on the ASX on November 2014.