Denham to set up shop in Australia

The Boston-headquartered firm closed its Singapore office in September and will staff up its Perth office with two investment professionals in February.

Denham Capital will open an office in Perth, Australia in February 2013 to pursue opportunities in the metals and minerals sector. 

Bert Koth, director and head of the metals and minerals team at Denham, will relocate from London to open the office. He will be joined by associate Spencer Soh, who has been based in the firm’s Singapore office that was closed in late September. In addition to metals and minerals, the Perth office will also pursue opportunities in power and renewables and oil and gas.

“Denham chose to relocate its Asia Pacific regional office to Perth because the city is one of the main hubs for metals and minerals activity throughout the world, similar to the way Houston is one of the global centers of oil and gas activity,” Koth told Private Equity International.

Denham has existing investments in two Asia-Pacific portfolio companies: New Zealand-based metals and mining company Trans-Tasman Resources and Philippines-based power and renewables business GNPower.  The firm also owns Amsterdam-based solar power company Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, which “significant avitities and a team on the ground in Australia”, according to a statement.

Denham is currently investing its sixth fund, Denham Commodities Partners Fund VI, which closed on its $3 billion hard-cap in April. Denham said almost 90 percent of investors in its previous fund had committed to the new vehicle. Limited partners in Fund VI include the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System, Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management, Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System and the Washington State Investment Board, according to data provider Private Equity Connect.

Headquartered in Boston, Denham has offices in Houston, London, São Paulo, and Short Hills, New Jersey. The firm has invested and committed roughly $7.3 billion of capital.