29 November 2006

Clayton Utz closes second fund for Ironbridge

Sydney, 29 November 2006: Clayton Utz continues to be involved in some of the most significant and high-profile private equity transactions taking place in Australia, the latest being Ironbridge Capital's A$1.05 billion MBO fund.

Clayton Utz partner David Stammers advised Ironbridge Capital Limited on all aspects of the establishment of Ironbridge Fund II, Australia's second largest private equity fund to date. The Fund closed on 1 November.

Ironbridge Fund II will target buy-out investments in sectors with growth potential (generally in the A$150 million to A$750 million range) and will also consider co-investments with its more than 40-strong institutional investors where appropriate. In addition to Australian institutional investors including Macquarie Funds Management and super funds such as UniSuper and Australia Super, Ironbridge Fund II attracted international investors from Asia, North America, Europe, and for the first time, Japan.

The Fund has already made its first (joint) acquisition with private equity firm Archer Capital of US conglomerate 3M's Asia-Pacific and African pharmaceutical business, a $450 million deal. David Stammers advised the Fund on the acquisition, alongside Clayton Utz Private Equity practice head Philip Kapp, partners Michael Riches and Jonathan Donald and senior associate Grant Koch. 

Clayton Utz has been involved in a number of landmark transactions for Ironbridge Capital Limited, including the A$500 million acquisition of Super A-Mart; the acquisition of a 50 per cent interest in Riviera luxury boats; the sale of its interests in Affinity Health to Ramsay Healthcare (a A$1.45 billion deal), and; the acquisition of the BBQs Galore business (the first public to private of a NASDAQ listed entity undertaken by an Australian firm).

Reiterating comments by Ironbridge's managing partner that private equity had come of age, Philip Kapp said Clayton Utz was well positioned to capitalise on the current level of activity in the sector, having made a strategic decision two years ago to build up its private equity capability.

"My joining Clayton Utz in 2004 along with David Stammers, Michael Riches and Jonathan Donald was a strategic move by Clayton Utz that, together with other key lateral hires, has resulted in a leading team of private equity specialists with the depth of experience to advise fund managers such as Ironbridge on all aspects of their investments."

Mr Stammers and Mr Kapp have a long-standing association with Ironbridge Capital Limited, having advised it on the establishment of its first fund, the Ironbridge Capital Fund.

Ironbridge Capital Limited is one of the most successful providers of private equity for growth businesses in Australasia, with a focus on investments in the mid-sized MBO market and expansion capital transactions in Australia and New Zealand.

In addition to Mr Kapp and Mr Stammers, Clayton Utz's national private equity team includes partner Mark Williamson (private equity - M&A and fundraising), partner Jonathan Donald and special counsel Brendon Lamers (private equity - tax), partner Michael Riches (private equity - debt finance), partner Michael Reede (private equity - media and telcos) and partner Peter Shaw and special counsel Trish Williams (emerging companies and enterprise growth specialists).

Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this bulletin. Persons listed may not be admitted in all states and territories.
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Email: Lauren Scott, Head of Corporate Affairs
Tel: +61 3 9286 6972