9 Dec 2011

Private equity firm seeks to invest in management buyouts

7:25 am on 9 December 2011

Wellington-based Pencarrow Private Equity is seeking to invest in growing firms and management buyouts.

The private equity firm has raised $77 million for its fourth fund, with the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation taking a cornerstone stake.

Pencarrow executive director Nigel Bingham says it will target firms valued between $20 million and $100 million with proven track records which need capital to expand, or assist current owners who are contemplating retirement.

He says the company likes business owners who might not want to sell their business outright but may have a plan to be involved in the business for a 5-10 year period.

Mr Bingham says instead they may want to sell down part of their equity or seek further expansion capital with the idea that they will treat it in two stages - with a partial succession followed by a fuller succession perhaps 5-7 years down the track.

He says he wants to raise more money from investors, lifting the fund's reserves to between $100 million and $150 million, particularly those in Australia and Asia.

Mr Bingham says Asian investors are particularly interested in the food sector in New Zealand.