George Penklis’s Odyssey closes debut fund on $211m

George Penklis, private equity veteran and co-founder of Quadrant Private Equity, has come back from retirement to set up mid-market firm Odyssey Private Equity.

Odyssey Private Equity, the Sydney-based firm established by former Quadrant Private Equity co-founder George Penklis, has raised A$275 million ($211 million; €198 million) for its debut fund, according to a statement.

Penklis teamed up with three former CHAMP Ventures executives – Gareth Banks, Jonathan Kelly and Paul Readdy – to set up Odyssey in the second half of last year and set out to raise A$200 million for its first fund.

Limited partners in the fund are primarily domestic institutional investors, a source with knowledge of the fundraising said.

The firm will invest between A$15 million to A$40 million in local mid-sized companies – with enterprise values of up to A$100 million – across a broad range of industries in Australia and New Zealand. 

Odyssey will target expansion capital, replacement capital and management buy-out opportunities and will take both control and minority equity positions.

Odyssey managing partner George Penklis said that the formation of the firm was driven by a number of factors. “The timing was right for the team, which has a solid performance track record. The market segment is attractive, with strong deal flow and a history of strong returns for investors.”

“With private equity firms raising larger funds and moving out of the segment, we saw an opportunity and received strong investor support for the fund,” he added.

Penklis co-founded Quadrant in 1996 and semi-retired in 2004 but remained an advisor within the Australian private equity industry. Meanwhile, partners Banks, Kelly and Readdy were long-serving directors of mid-market firm CHAMP Ventures, which discontinued fundraising last year due to a succession management issue. They retain their existing portfolio company board roles.