Ironbridge Capital draws A$1.05bn in Fund II

Ironbridge Capital, an Australian private equity firm that spun out of Gresham Private Equity in 2003, has raised A$1.05 billion for its second fund.

Ironbridge Capital, a private equity firm that focuses on Australia and New Zealand, has raised A$1.05 billion ($808 million; €636 million) from more than 40 institutional investors worldwide for its second fund. The latest fund represents a significant advance on its first which raised A$450 million in September 2004.

Approximately one-third of the capital was raised from Australian investors that include clients of Wilshire Private Markets group, Industry Funds Management, Macquarie Funds Management as well as local superannuation funds like UniSuper, Telstra Super, ARIA and Australian Super.

International limited partners included many first-time investors in the Australia and New Zealand private equity market, Ironbridge said in a statement. GIC Special Investments, CalPERS, AlpInvest, Partners Group, Gartmopre and LGT Capital Partners were among the international investors that have committed to Ironbridge Fund II, according to the private equity firm.

“Significantly, Ironbridge Capital is the first Australian private equity manager to secure broad investor support from Japan, with four prestigious Japanese institutions investing in Fund II.”

Japan’s Alternative Investment Capital, a fund-of-funds manager, also a joint-venture between Mitsubishi Corporation and Daido Life Insurance, is one of the four Japanese investors.

“Until recently, we have only invested in Australia via pan-Asian funds,” a senior official said of Alternative Investment Capital’s interest in Ironbridge’s mid-market focus in Australia.

The new fund will target transactions in the A$150 million to A$750 million range, although Ironbridge has participated in larger transactions with the support from its investor base.

In October 2003, Ironbridge teamed up with CVC Asia Pacific to co-lead an A$871 million buyout of Affinity Health from Mayne Group Hospitals, with GIC Special Investments also taking an equity stake as a co-investor. Affinity, the first investment Ironbridge made since its founders spun out of Gresham Private Equity, generated a return of three times the capital invested, and an internal rate of return of 220 percent.