According to an offering prospectus distributed to qualified investors, ANZ Banking Group chairman David Gonski and long-time Amcor chief executive Ken MacKenzie are backing Australia’s newest private equity firm.
(AFR.com) Oct 13–Street Talk can reveal the pair are the latest additions to Adamantem Capital – the private equity firm set up by former Pacific Equity Partners dealmakers Anthony Kerwick and Rob Koczkar – which is finally in the market raising its first fund.
Gonski and MacKenzie will line up on the firm’s advisory board, offering counsel and opening doors for the new Sydney-based investment manager.
The pair’s role was detailed in a private placement memorandum sent to potential backers this week, according to one investor who was mulling an investment and studying the document.
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The document laid out plans to raise $600 million for the new fund, which was explained as a mix between traditional private equity and a special situations fund.
It is understood the manager was pitching itself as slightly different to most private equity firms, with it retaining flexibility to own private companies or take stakes in listed or unlisted companies. The flexible mandate gives a strong hint as to where private equity is headed at a time when a raft of successful dealmakers leave the big firms to set up their own businesses.
Kerwick and Koczkar have set up Adamantem Capital on Level 12 of Sydney’s Chifley Tower, and hired a team including former Wolseley Private Equity director Angus Stuart, former Macquarie banker Katie Wood, ex-Ironbridge analyst Robert Li and ex-Magellan Financial Group analyst Matthew Cross.
There are plenty of people in private equity and associated banking and legal circles who are keeping a close eye on Adamantem’s raising. Kerwick and Koczkar are two of the first senior people to leave PEP – one of Australia’s most successful private equity investors over the past 15-years – for life on their own.