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Fleetpartners And Hirequip Ownership Changes

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

by Pam Graham of NZPA

Wellington, July 31 NZPA - Two major private equity deals in Australia today had ramifications for New Zealand.

Both resulted from the retreat of Nikko, the Japan brokerage hit by an accounting scandal, from the Australian private equity market.

Nikko Citi Holdings announced the sale of its holding in vehicle leasing company FleetPartners to a consortium comprising Ironbridge Capital, Tasman Capital Partners and GIC SI.

No one would put a figure on the deal but when FleetPartners was originally purchased by Nikko it had an enterprise value of $A379 million ($NZ494m) and the business had $A1.5 billion of debt.

FleetPartners has a business in New Zealand.

Tasman Capital is essentially the same group of people who worked at Nikko. They set up a management buyout and they have bought in Ironbridge, another private equity firm, and GIC, the private equity arm of the Government of Singapore Investment Corp.

In the second deal, Tasman Secondary Trust, which is managed by Tasman Capital Partners, bought the Hirequip business from Nikko Citi Holdings.

Hirequip is the hire business whose owners included Stuart McKinlay and former BIL executive Graeme Wong prior to its sale to Nikko in 2006 for $NZ165m. Its main rival is Hirepool.

"We are close to finalising Hirequip's strategic plan and will shortly be in a position to announce a number of exciting initiatives and key appointments," said Tasman Capital Partners managing director Rob Nichols.

He said the company had recorded organic sales growth in the past year and the new owners were also looking at growth via acquisition.

FleetPartners New Zealand managing director Dennis Kelly said the company now had a platform for growth with the broadening of its shareholder base.

"It is great that the Tasman team will continue its close relationship with FleetPartners and we welcome the considerable resources that GIC SI and Ironbridge will bring to the board table."

When economic conditions are tighter companies increasingly focus on their core activities and look to free up their balance sheet by leasing vehicles. NZPA WGT pjg gt

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