Private equity deals in Australia

February 28, 2022

This list tracks some private equity investments in the Australian market, although there are plenty still to add.

Affinity Health: CVC more than tripled its equity investment after just 18 months when it sold Affinity Health to Ramsay Healthcare for $1.5 billion in 2005. See ASX announcements in April 2005. The original 53 Mayne Nickless hospital were bought for $813 million in October 2003, with the Singapore government as a minority investor.

Cleanaway: KKR paid $1.83 billion to Brambles for the BIS Cleanaway business in 2006 and then sold the Cleanaway element to Transpacific Industries just 10 months later for $1.25 billion, generating an estimated $200 million profit. Transpacific later almost went broke after loading up with too much debt on acquisitions and KKR still retains the old Brambles Industrial Services business which is doing well servicing the mining boom.

Coates Hire: Carlyle Group and the Kerry Stokes-backed National Hire paid an excessive $2.2 billion for the equipment hire firm in late 2007 as the market peaked and despite retalively strong operational performance, has struggled to generate a positive return.

Consolidated Pastoral: UK private equity firm Terra Firma paid $425 million for the Packer family's Australian cattle portfolio in March 2009 just as global markets were bottoming after the GFC.

Healthscope: Carlyle and TPG paid $2.7 billion in 2010 to take the healthcare company private and we're yet to see whether a profit can be delivered.

I-Med: after exiting in 2011, CVC lost two-thirds of the $720 of equity it invested in the radiology group.

JB Hi-Fi: an early private equity success story for Macquarie Bank which was floated in 2004 with retail investors paying $1.55 and institutions $1.80. However, when the stock pushed through $20 it was clear the Millionaires Factory ultimately left more than $1 billion on the table by getting out too early.

Myer: TPG and the Myer family bought the business, including Myer Melbourne, for $1.4 billion in 2006 and exited through a public float with a profit of more than $2 billion, although investors have since suffered terrible returns.

Pacific Brands: CVC made a 740% return after buying the business from Pacific Dunlop and then floating it for $1.3 billion in April 2004.

PBL Media: CVC paid a total of $5.5 billion for 100% of the Packer family's old media assets and look like losing the entire $1.9 billion of equity once its $3.7 billion debt falls due in February 2013. The biggest problem has been crashing magazine earnings.

Seven Group Holdings: KKR paid top dollar for a 50% stake in 2007 but has gone close to escaping with a small profit courtesy of Seven's strong performance and the rising Australian dollar. The final outcome depends on the sale of its 15% stake in Seven West Media.

Tech Pacific: in June 2003 CVC bought a 58.5% stake in Australia's largest IT and technology distributor from Hagemeyer in a deal that valued the whole business at $US345 million. The following year US giant Ingram Micro paid $A700 million for the whole business, as CVC more than tripled its equity investment.