Growth capital, private investments’ value creator – now worth over $30bn


Marc Washbourne

Private capital investment is booming and last year the Australian industry reached a new high of more than $30 billion in assets under management.

Growth capital investors will meet in Sydney this tomorrow (29 August) to discuss developments in the private investment sector and the value it creates for the Australian economy.

Large private equity deals, such as global firm KKR’s recent $2.2 billion-dollar acquisition of Arnott’s biscuits, make the headlines. But smaller transactions, most of which are growth capital deals, account for a large proportion of investment.

While they attract less attention than large buyouts, growth capital deals do more to stimulate the local economy, including creating jobs.

These deals are also more accessible to smaller investors including family offices self-managed super funds (SMSFs) and high net-worth individual investors which is resulting in new inflows of capital.

Other trends to be explored at the event will include:

  • There is a growing number of investment managers – including some with large funds – focusing on growth capital deals;
  • Growth capital investment structures breaking away from conventional private equity models, and
  • Convergence of private equity and venture capital in the growth capital deals space.

Growth capital has no strict definition but is accepted as referring to an investment intended to accelerate development of an established business which has an operating model with potential for fast growth. Unlike private equity buyout deals, growth capital investments are generally not leveraged with debt. They are, however, usually accompanied by extensive operational support.

In addition to investors, speakers at the Growth Capital Forum includes founders who have accepted this sort of investment. The delegate list for the new event reflects the growing interest from these investors.

The event is being held at the Museum of Sydney and will kick-off with a buffet lunch and networking.

The lead sponsor for Growth Capital Forum is fund management technology company Apex Group. Supporting sponsors are professional services firm Ernst & Young (EY), financial services company Velocity Trade, which provides tailored foreign exchange services, and specialist growth capital M&A advisory business Eaton Square.

Speakers include:

  • Marc Washbourne: founder and chief executive of ReadyTech
  • Tom Matthews: Pemba Capital
  • Justin Ryan: Quadrant Growth Fund
  • Philip Latham: Navis Capital
  • David Odgers: IFM Investors
  • Les Szekely: Grand Prix Capital
  • Brett Owen: Potentia Capital
  • Rajeev Gupta: Alium Capital
  • Chris Barter: King River Capital
  • Gregg Taylor: Bombora Group


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