Catalyst Investment Managers, an independent mid-market private equity firm based in Sydney has invested A$50 million of equity in EziBuy, an apparel and home décor catalogue company, Trent Peterson, managing director of Catalyst told PEO.
The investment, which involved debt financing, for a 43.5 percent stake in EziBuy, provided an exit for Direct Capital, a private equity firm in New Zealand. Direct Capital invested in EziBuy in September 1999.
In addition to shares held by Direct Capital, Catalyst also acquired shares from Direct Group, an Australian direct retail and marketing company and a few small individual investors, Peterson said.
Following the investment by Catalyst, Peter and Gerard Gillespie, founders of EziBuy, will continue to be majority shareholders, and remain on the board of directors. The Gilliespie brothers founded the business in New Zealand in 1978, and expanded the business to Australia in 1992.
The investment in EziBuy is Catalyst’s second deal in New Zealand in six months following an acquisition of Metro GlassTech in August 2006.
Catalyst’s retail investments in Australia and New Zealand include Just Group, re-listed in 2004; Pacific Brands, which listed in 2004 and Australian Discount Retail, which it acquired in 2005.
The EziBuy transaction is subject to New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office’s approval.