Side Letter: Archer’s on ice, TH Lee, Carlyle hire, LP comms

Another of Australia's PE brands faces an uncertain future. Plus: LPs are feeling sanguine about GP transparency. Here's today's brief, for our valued subscribers only. 

He said it

“Take the time to educate yourself. Recognise micro-aggressions exist and can be as painful for those on the receiving end as overt racism. There should be zero tolerance on your part. Stand ‘shoulder-to-shoulder’ with the person being targeted and call out the aggressor”

A statement from Wol Kolade, managing partner of mid-market firm Livingbridge, on how all peers in the PE industry have a role to play combating racism

Just happened

Archer’s on ice

Archer Capital, one of Australia’s oldest private equity firms, has again put plans for a sixth flagship fund on hold. The Sydney firm had been in early discussions with existing LPs about Archer Capital Fund VI last year, but now intends to focus on its current portfolio. The vehicle was expected to have been around A$300 million ($206.2 million; €182.5 million) in size, representing a shift in strategy for Archer. It had previously been seeking around A$1.5 billion for Fund VI but scrapped those plans in 2018 after founder Peter Wiggs announced his intention to retire. If it doesn’t make a third attempt, it would join a number of Aussie PE stalwarts, including CHAMP Ventures and Ironbridge Capital, that have decided to wind down in recent years.

Disclosure delight

LPs are now largely happy with the info they get from their managers, says Coller Capital’s latest Global PE Barometer. The survey shows a big leap – from 39 percent in 2012 to 82 percent in 2020 – in LPs’ satisfaction with the transparency of their GPs’ disclosure. The work continues, however, as last week’s ILPA guidelines suggest. Also in the survey: climate change and ESG remain hot topics, although many LPs think GPs are not taking the risks of global warming seriously enough in their investment policies and practices.

Growth from a crisis

It’s growth capital week on Private Equity International this week, featuring insight from our June print edition into this fast-growing and increasingly popular part of the private equity universe. First up today: how growth capital strategies could emerge stronger from the covid-19 crisis.


Carlyle hire

The Carlyle Group has hired Simon Dingemans, a former CFO of GlaxoSmithKline, to lead the firm’s UK buyout and European healthcare operations, according to a statement.

Retail pain

$400 – that’s the upper end of the payout that the 3,100 employees of a Thomas H Lee Partners portfolio company will receive after being laid off. Workers from retail chain Art Van Furniture, whose March bankruptcy process was exacerbated by the covid-19 crisis, have called the private equity firm’s $1 million relief fund “grossly inadequate”, Bloomberg reported (paywall) last week. For reference: the size of fund per employee is less than half that of  the $20 million fund KKR and Bain Capital set up for the 30,000 Toys ‘R’ Us workers left without severance in 2018.

What you’re reading

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Dig deeper

LP meetings. It’s Monday, so here are some LP meetings to watch out for this week.

15 June

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19 June

Today’s letter was prepared by Toby Mitchenall with Isobel Markham, Adam Le, Rod James, Carmela Mendoza and Alex Lynn.

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