Big businesses in big cities might get all the attention, but more than $30 million is about to be flung at the regions.
That is how much has been invested in a new private equity fund in Tauranga, now boasting high-profile investors such as Sir Stephen Tindall’s K1W1 fund.
But with a plan to invest the money in regional businesses, Oriens Capital has claimed it would occupy a unique place in the market.
Oriens has attracted more than $30m of the maximum $60m it set, which chief executive James Beale said was enough to “get a viable fund up and running.”
The focus has now turned to looking for investment opportunities, although there is nothing far advanced as yet.
The fund was based in the Bay of Plenty but had investors from Whangarei to the top of the South Island, which would allow the fund to invest in the “under-serviced” regions, Beale said.
“There’s a number of really accomplished and high-quality larger private equity firms that are generally looking at some of the metro areas so we did target this space deliberately.
“We see that there’s a lack of capital in this space and there’s plenty of exciting business opportunities and export opportunities in the space we’re targeting.”
Beale has a broad take on what sort of businesses the fund might be interested in, although specified manufacturing, distribution and logistics, and agri-tech sectors.
But he is more interested in finding good businesses with “great management teams” to invest alongside, rather than targeting certain industries.
The goal was to invest in five to seven private companies worth between $10m and $50m.
Beale said it was important to have attracted “good quality investors” like K1W1, and was confident of getting more.
“We’re really pleased, I look forward to the next five to 10 years of reporting back to them.”