Australia’s Wattle Hill nears $300m final close

The Sino-Australian firm, raising its maiden fund, will invest in Australian and New Zealand companies looking to tap into China’s consumer market.

The debut fund of Sydney-based private equity firm Wattle Hill RHC Funds is “tracking very well towards a $300 million final close in mid-2017”, a source with knowledge of the matter told Private Equity International.

Using capital from the fund the firm will target Australian and New Zealand companies offering “clean, green and safe” products and services that benefit from Asia's, and in particular, China’s growth. Wattle Hill RHC Fund 1 was launched in the fourth quarter 2015 and held a first close on $200 million in early 2016.

The first close was backed by Investors including “two leading insurance companies, one European and one Chinese, and a family office representing the founder of China's largest direct e-commerce player”, the source added.

So far the firm has invested in Australian ginger producer Buderim Group alongside Asia Mark Development, an affiliate of Chinese snack foods producer QiaQia Food, for approximately A$26.1 million, according to a filing on the Australian Stock Exchange.

The firm’s favoured businesses include upstream manufacturing and processing, food production and agricultural businesses; industrial components and devices; wholesale and retail servicing, transport and logistics; and technological and chemical suppliers, according to an Australian government website.

Wattle Hill is founded by Albert Tse, a former legal representative of Macquarie in Beijing and Shanghai. The firm has offices in Sydney, Hong Kong and Beijing.

Wattle Hill declined to comment on fundraising.