NZ private equity firm Direct Capital has taken an option to purchase half of trustee roll-up business, Complectus, under a convertible loan agreement signed this week.
The Direct Capital deal comes in the wake of an aborted $200 million takeover bid for Complectus by Australian company Trustee Partners this June.
Prior to the Trustee Partners offer Complectus, ultimately owned by the Andrew Barnes-controlled vehicle Bath Street Capital (BSC), had planned an IPO expected to raise up to $150 million.
In a statement, BSC says it had entered a “re-financing agreement and long-term partnership” with Direct Capital, which retained “an option to convert the loan for 50% of the shares in Complectus at a point in the future”.
Trustee Partners is understood to be considering legal action following the Complectus sale collapse. Grant Kemble, hired to head Complectus in 2015 left the firm in July with founder, Barnes, returning to the chief executive role.
Complectus owns a diverse set of NZ trustee firms including Perpetual Guardian, Guardian Trust, Covenant and New Zealand Trustee Services.
Late last month Trustee Partners purchased the New Zealand Trust Company along with parent firm the Hong Kong Trust Company.
Formed in 1994, Direct Capital has raised some $1.2 billion in private equity funding since inception. Direct Capital V, the group’s latest fund, attracted $375 million from a range of NZ institutional investors including the NZ Superannuation Fund and the Accident Compensation Commission fund.