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FNZC launches private investment channel

First NZ Capital (FNZC) is offering a new channel for private investors to put their money directly into medium-to-large unlisted New Zealand businesses.

Monday, August 14th 2017, 5:59AM

by Susan Edmunds

Michael Walmsley

The new channel, Principal Investments, is formalising an offer that was previously delivered on an ad hoc basis, FNZC said.

“Such services are common internationally but until now have been rare in New Zealand due to its smaller market scale.”

It will focus on providing equity and junior debt for businesses, wanting to grow. That will include financing acquisitions, providing growth capital, taking pre-IPO stakes and succession planning.

Investments will be made with a mix of capital from FNZC and its network of private investors.

Chief executive James Lee said it was coming at a time when the economy was strong and business owners wanting alternative sources of capital.

“As the New Zealand market has grown, some companies have experienced difficulty in raising capital. In some cases, this has led to pursuing the listed market too early. Private equity is increasing in size, which is fantastic, but some companies don't fit private equity requirements.”

Principal Investments will be headed by Michael Walmsley, who was most recently associate director and 2IC in the Macquarie Capital Principal Transactions Group in London.

“This shows our confidence in the New Zealand economy. We’re proud to announce Michael’s appointment and know his experience will deliver immediate value to our clients and partners,” Lee said.

Walmsley said: “We’re very pleased to be launching this at a time the New Zealand economy is so strong. We recognise companies have a lot of opportunities but do not always have access to private sources of capital to realise them. We aim to change that and believe there is huge potential to invest in and raise capital for our country’s best entrepreneurs and businesses.

“Principal Investments will offer flexible and creative structures which are specific to our client’s needs. We will be able to offer capital across the capital structure and from several sources, including our own balance sheet. Ensuring that our clients’ objectives are met will always be of critical importance.”

Tags: equities FNZC investment

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