Goldman Sachs JBWere, Quadrant in adventure LBO

Goldman Sachs JBWere and Quadrant Private Equity, two private equity firms active in Australia and New Zealand, are co-investing in the buyout of adventure equipment maker Kathmandu Group.

Australasian private equity firms Goldman Sachs JBWere Private Equity (GSJBW) and Quadrant Private Equity have agreed to buy out outdoor and travel clothing and equipment company Kathmandu Group for a combined NZ$140.25 million ($89 million; €72 million).

The transaction will buy the sponsors a combined 51 percent stake, 25.5 percent each, while company founder Jan Cameron will hold the remaining 49 percent stake. The company’s board will comprise 3 members: Clark Perkins, head of merchant banking at GSJBW, Chris Hadley, managing director of Quadrant, and Cameron, according to a statement.

Established in 1987, Kathmandu operates 46 stores across New Zealand (20), Australia (22) and the UK (4).

GSJBW is investing in the buyout from Hauraki Private Equity No. 2 Fund, a vehicle closed in 2004, and managed from New Zealand. Quadrant is investing from Quadrant Private Equity No. 1 that held its first and final close in November on A$265 million ($196.7 million; €159.6 million).

GSJBW is the result of a tie-up in 2003 between Goldman Sachs and JBWere, an Australian financial services group founded in 1840. Goldman Sachs holds a 45% stake in GSJBW, while 55 percent stake is held by the management and staff of the group.

GSJBW Private Equity specialises in leveraged buyouts, management buyouts and buy-ins, as well as provide expansion and development capital.
Referring to the Kathmandu investment in a statement, GSJBW’s Perkins said that the partnership of the two sponsors combined with the expertise of the existing management team would create a strong opportunity for the business as it seeks to expand its operations.

A comprehensive store roll-out programme will be implemented in Australia and New Zealand. There is also potential to develop the company’s presence in the UK, according to the statement.

“Kathmandu has a highly successful track record, strong margins and dominant market positions in Australia and New Zealand which we will work to further develop in conjunction with the Kathmandu team.” Hadley said in the statement.

Quadrant focuses on mid-market buyouts and growth expansion investment. Prior to the formation of its latest A$265 million fund, the management team raised and managed three vehicles that amounted to A$250 million.