Australia’s Liverpool Partners mulls debut third-party fund – exclusive

The deal-by-deal firm is expected to target as much as A$300m when it comes to market in 2020.

Liverpool Partners, an Australian deal-by-deal manager, plans to launch its first third-party blind-pool fund next year.

The Sydney-based firm is expected to target between A$200 million ($137 million; €123 million) and A$300 million for the vehicle, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.

Liverpool has completed three investments by co-investing with institutions and high-net-worth individuals from Europe and Asia, the source added. It is expected to close two more by year-end.

The firm’s deals have also been funded in part by a smaller vehicle comprising commitments from Liverpool’s founders, several family offices and London-headquartered fund of funds Stafford Capital Partners.

Liverpool declined to comment.

The firm was founded in 2012 by Jonathan Lim, a former investment director at Sydney’s Arowana Capital, and Craig Tocknell, a former manager at London asset manager M&G Investments, according to its website.

Its team includes chairman Bill Best, a 22-year veteran of Macquarie Bank, operational partner John Hickey, former CFO of Affinity Health, and Don Raissis, a former investment director at Australian small-cap firm Anacacia Capital.

Liverpool represents Australia’s next generation of private equity managers, joining the likes of tech specialist Potentia Capital, which is in market with its debut fund, and Bridgeport Capital, which split from Aussie private equity firm Hawkesbridge in 2016.

Adamantem Capital has raised at least A$600 million for its debut fund after a legal battle with Pacific Equity Partners, from which its founders split in 2014, according to PEI data. The firm delisted Australian health company Zenitas alongside Liverpool last year.

Australia’s old guard have struggled with succession in recent years. Archer Capital, one of the country’s oldest and largest players, returned to market in April after pausing its fundraising plans last year due to succession issues. The new-look firm is reportedly seeking one-fifth of its original A$1.5 billion target.

Mid-market investor CHAMP Private Equity closed its fourth fund on A$735 million in 2017, less than half of its initial A$1.5 billion target. CHAMP Ventures, meanwhile, decided to wind down in 2016 after succession proved insurmountable.