Australia’s CHAMP to seek up to A$900m for Fund V – exclusive

CHAMP V Fund would be more than 20% larger than its 2016-vintage predecessor, Private Equity International has learned.

CHAMP Private Equity, one of Australia’s oldest private equity firms, will return to market with Fund V in the second half of this year.

Sydney-headquartered CHAMP is expected to seek between A$800 million ($558 million; €497 million) and A$900 million for CHAMP V Fund, according to a source with knowledge of the vehicle.

The buyout and growth capital firm collected A$735 million for its 2016-vintage Fund IV, less than half of the 2009-vintage Fund III, after a leadership transition in 2014. Fund IV has already completed nine investments and two exits at a 30 percent net internal rate of return, the source added.

CHAMP declined to comment.

Australian private equity spending rose 68 percent last year to $68 billion across 53 deals, according to data from Bain & Company. Australian private equity funds held A$30 billion of AUM as of June last year, according to the industry body the Australian Investment Council.

CHAMP founders Bill Ferris and Joe Skrzynski officially stepped down from the board last year, four years after naming John Haddock chief executive.

Archer Capital is the latest Australia firm to face succession challenges. The firm paused its fundraising plans last year and returned to market in April reportedly seeking one-fifth of its original A$1.5 billion target.

CHAMP Ventures, CHAMP PE’s sister firm, decided to wind down in 2016 after succession proved insurmountable.

Australia is not alone in finding handovers a challenge. Almost one-third of professionals at GPs anticipate a succession-led key person event at their firm in the next five years, and 42 percent do not feel their businesses has an adequate plan in place, according to Investec data from February.