CHAMP III Funds nears A$1bn

Sydney-based CHAMP Private Equity is targeting a final close on A$1.5bn for its third buyout fund later this year.

CHAMP Private Equity, an Australia- and New Zealand-focused buyout firm, has raised close to A$1 billion (€691.5 million; $926.4 million) for CHAMP III Funds, its third buyout fund, two sources have confirmed with PEO's sister web site PEI Asia.

CHAMP declined to comment.

The firm is targeting A$1.5 billion for the final close of CHAMP III and expects to close the fund on that amount later this year, one of the sources said, adding that capital raising for the vehicle has gathered momentum. 

CHAMP began fundraising in early 2009 and saw a first close on A$400 million in September last year. The firm is having “a series of rolling closes” leading up to its final target, the sources said.

CHAMP III is focused on a variety of sectors including 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, while its first buyout fund was closed on A$500 million in mid-2000. CHAMP also makes expansion capital investments and acquires controlling stakes in smaller companies through its affiliate CHAMP Ventures, which manages an aggregate of S$465 million across two funds. 

In January, Study Group, a CHAMP portfolio company, appointed Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse to advise on a possible initial public offering on the Australian exchange. The company could raise up to A$600 million, according to local media reports.

Last year in October, CHAMP and its affiliate, New York-based Castle Harlan, sold commercial malt manufacturer and supplier United Malt Holdings to GrainCorp for A$757 million.