Navis sells Australian automotive company to Quadrant

Malaysia’s Navis Capital Partners, whose $1.2bn buyout vehicle Fund VI is in divestment mode, realised over $300m from the sale of WorldMark to the Sydney-based firm.

Navis Capital Partners has sold its stake in Australian automotive business WorldMark to Sydney-based Quadrant Private Equity for A$320 million ($240 million; €216 million).

WorldMark sells auto products such as window tint and electronic accessories in car dealerships in Australia and New Zealand. The company also offers accounting systems and warranty claims management, and customer retention programmes on behalf of auto manufacturers.

The sale of WorldMark’s domestic and international operations realised over $300 million, representing about three times what Navis paid for WorldMark in June 2010.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2016, according to a statement.

Kuala Lumpur-based Navis has over $5 billion in assets under management and invested in 70 buyout transactions in the Asia Pacific region. It bought 83.1 percent of WorldMark for more than A$100 million from its fifth buyout fund, the $1 billion Navis Asia Fund V.

During Navis’s ownership, WorldMark’s business was simplified and streamlined; its automotive consulting division, Sewells Group, was sold to Detroit-based automotive retailer MSX International in March this year. Navis also increased WorldMark’s market share within dealerships and expanded the business into new channels in China, India, Thailand, Philippines, and Indonesia.

Funds V and VI, its $1.2 billion vehicle, are in divestment mode. In February this year, Navis exited Australian childcare service provider Guardian Early Learning in a deal that is understood to have generated an internal rate of return of 42 percent and returned a multiple of 2.1 times investors’ capital. In the same month, the firm also exited its investment in Thailand’s integrated chicken processor Golden Foods Siam, generating a 3.3x return multiple and a 24 percent IRR.

Besides exiting investments from these two funds, Navis is also busy investing its 2013-vintage Navis Asia Fund VII, which raised $1.5 billion in 2015 against a $1.3 billion target. The firm had recently bought Tawada Healthcare, one of the largest medical device distributors in Indonesia; Hanoi French Hospital, the first international private healthcare facility in Hanoi; and French furniture brand Christian Liaigre Group.

The firm is also preparing to launch a MYR750 million ($182 million; €164 million) Malaysia-focused vehicle that will invest in mid-market companies.

Limited partners in Navis’s funds include the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, Employees Retirement System of Texas, and Maryland State Retirement and Pension System, according to PEI data.