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Ironbridge leads A$500m furniture MBO

Australian private equity firm Ironbridge Capital, along with co-investors, has agreed to acquire local retailer Super A-Mart in a A$500m deal.

Independent Australian private equity firm Ironbridge Capital has partnered with minority investors GIC Special Investments in Singapore, Swiss fund of funds Partners Group and Macquarie Funds Management to back the management buyout of local furniture retailer Super A-Mart.

The management buyout worth approximately A$500 million ($374.7m; €294m) involves the acquisition of the business from founder and owner John Van Lieshout. Established in 1970, Super A-Mart has 21 retail outlets in the Australian provicences of Queensland – where it claims about 20 percent market share – and New South Wales, and revenues approaching A$400m, according to a statement from Ironbridge.

The MBO is led by senior Super A-Mart executives John McWilliam and Gary Koeter, who collectively have spent more than 35 years in management positions with the company.

Greg Ruddock, a managing partner at Ironbridge, said in a statement: “Super A-Mart has a strong market position in the Queensland retail furniture market and excellent growth opportunities, both within their core market and throughout Australia.”

Ironbridge, which manages more than A$450 million, is focused on medium to large-sized management buyouts and expansion capital transactions in Australia and New Zealand. In the last twelve months, the firm announced three significant transactions including Australian and US specialty retailer Barbeques Galore and New Zealand-based age care provider Qualcare.

Sydney-based Ironbridge, which closed its current fund in 2004, is reportedly preparing to launch a second fund with the intention of raising up to A$800 million.