CHAMP holds A$400m first close

Sydney-based CHAMP Private Equity has raised about a quarter of the A$1.5bn it is targeting for its third buyout fund.

Australia- and New Zealand-focused buyout firm CHAMP Private Equity has raised A$400 million ($341 million; €238 million) for the first close of CHAMP III Funds, four sources have confirmed with PEO.

The firm is targeting commitments of A$1.5 billion for the final close of its fund, which is likely to be held in the first part of 2010, a source close to the firm said, adding that the fund has seen strong interest from existing investors.

CHAMP Private Equity declined to comment.

CHAMP III will continue to invest in mid-markets in Australasia, Bill Ferris, executive chairman and co-founder of CHAMP Private Equity, told sister publication PEI Asia in an interview in January. He said the firm's investment focus will be on Australia and New Zealand, but it will have the ability to consider transactions in Southeast Asia, a market where the firm has made investments in the past for its portfolio companies.

CHAMP will look to make about 12 investments from its third buyout fund, Ferris said at the time. In terms of sectors, the fund will focus on health, education, financial services, food and in companies providing services to the minerals sector.

Its predecessor fund, CHAMP Funds II, closed on A$950 million in September 2005. The firm's first buyout fund was an A$500 million vehicle that closed in mid-2000.