PEP continues exit roll

The firm has sold a A$320m stake in toilet paper business Asaleo Care on the ASX.

Pacific Equity Partners has sold down its interest in toilet paper and feminine hygiene products maker Asaleo Care on the Australian Stock Exchange – the latest in a slew of exits for the firm.

PEP sold its 49.5 percent stake for about A$320 million ($301 million; €221 million) in an IPO that raised the Australia and New Zealand firm about A$656 million, according to documents filed with the ASX this week. Shares priced at A$1.71 – towards the top end of its indicative range of A$1.55 to A$1.80 per share.

PEP reportedly paid A$250 million for its Asaleo stake in 2011.

The sale marks the continuation of what has been a blockbuster 18 months for the Australian private equity firm, which is currently in the market with a A$2 billion fund that raised A$850 million as of April this year, Private Equity International reported earlier.

In May, the firm had success off the back of Australia’s largest listing in 2014, the sale of Spotless Group shares on the ASX, which raised about A$900 million. Also in May, the firm agreed to sell Australia’s Peter’s to R&R Ice Cream, although terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

As it continues to raise capital for its fourth fund, PEP has focused on returning cash to investors through exits or refinancings.

PEP has used its well-performing businesses to complete a wave of refinancings and dividend recapitalisations, taking advantage of attractive financing packages that have become increasingly available in the domestic and international markets, managing director Tony Duthie told PEI earlier.

The firm refinanced Hoyts, Griffins, Spotless Group and Peter’s Ice Cream, among others, over the past 18 months.

“The reason we’ve been able to do [this] is partly that the financing conditions are pretty positive at the moment, but also because the underlying performance across the portfolio companies has been really strong over the last 12-18 months, which has allowed us to refinance a number of these businesses,” Duthie explained.