Blue Sky plans second PE fund next year

The Australian firm, which is currently marketing a A$200m venture capital vehicle, plans to launch a second PE fund late next year that will be significantly larger than its previous vehicle.

Australia’s Blue Sky Alternative Investments plans to launch a second private equity fund toward the end of next year, targeting A$200-250 million ($181 million; €164 million), managing director Mark Sowerby told Private Equity International.

Blue Sky backs late stage venture capital and early stage private equity investments. It hopes to cross-pollinate transactions by providing private equity capital to its venture capital investments to help them expand, Sowerby said.

The company’s first private equity fund, Blue Sky Private Equity EC2010, is a 2010-vehicle that raised A$30 million, Sowerby said.

The firm is currently marketing a A$200 million venture capital fund, targeted at institutional investors. The fund will invest in later-stage deals in Australia and overseas, according to a statement.

The new private equity vehicle will replace the special purpose vehicles (SPV) that have been established to make individual investments. Each SPV is between AUD $20 million and $40 million in size, Sowerby said.

The firm’s investors are typically high net worth individuals and family offices in Australia, Tim Wilson, managing director of Blue Sky Private Equity said.

Its private equity division investments include in Melbourne-based software developer Readify, which it plans to list on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in May/June next year, Sowerby said. Last year, the company, in which Blue Sky owns a 70 percent stake, raised A$7 million from new investors, according to reports.

Healthcare information provider Alcidion, in which the firm invested A$3 million in 2012, is due to list on the ASX in January, Wilson said. The transaction will take place via a reverse takeover of Naracoota Resources, a metal exploration company.

ASX-listed Blue Sky Alternative Investments has A$1.35 billion of assets under management, including direct investments in private equity, real estate, infrastructure, hedge funds, venture capital and other real assets, such as water infrastructure and an agriculture fund.

In April 2015, the firm launched a A$300 million agriculture fund, the Blue Sky Strategic Australian Agriculture Fund, targeting the local superannuation industry that will invest in mid-tier agri infrastructure, agribusiness private equity and water entitlements, according to PEI’s Research & Analytics division.