• Top deals

Top deals

Disclosed deals highlight that the top five deals with PE involvement contributed to 66% of total deal value in FY21.

Two of the top five deals highlighted the ongoing demand for communications infrastructure to support a shift towards a digital economy. These include Vocus Group Limited - Australia’s specialist fibre and network solutions provider, and BAI Communications Pty. Ltd. a global communications infrastructure provider.

1. VOCUS Group

Value: USD $3,522m
Date: February 2021
Sector: TMT
Investment type/stage: Private Investment in Public Entity (PIPE)
PE: Voyage Australia Pty Limited’s (a consortium of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) and Aware Super)

Vocus Group, Australia’s specialist fibre and network solutions provider, has entered a Scheme Implementation Deed to be acquired by Voyage Australia Pty Limited’s  100% acquisition of Vocus Group Limited for US$3.5bn, resulting in the delisting of Vocus from the Australia Securities Exchange. (ASX). This deal will provide Voyage the foundation and capacity to build on Vocus’ fibre infrastructure network and take advantage of the growth of the digital economy.


2. BAI Communications

Value: USD $1,952m
Date: June 2021
Sector: TMT
Investment type/stage: Growth Capital
PE: CPP Investment Board, Alberta Investment Management Corporation

Multinational communications infrastructure company, BAI Communications has its sights set on global expansion – namely in the United States - after securing growth capital as part of the second biggest Australasian PE deal in FY21.  Since the deal was made BAI Communications has announced the pending acquisition of Mobilitie – a neutral-host infrastructure provider - in August 2021, to further accelerate its growth.

3. Theiss Pty Ltd

Value: USD $1,558m
Date: October 2020
Sector: Energy, Mining and Utilities
Investment type/stage: Buyout
PE: Elliott Management

Thiess Pty Ltd is an Australian global full-scope mining services provider committed to delivering best-for-mine solutions. This buyout will capitalise on the robust outlook of mining – with a plan to continue a growth and diversification strategy.

A sales agreement between CIMIC Group and Elliott Management saw joint control once the deal closed, with Elliot gaining 50% equity interest in Theiss.  This transaction will look to strengthen CIMIC’s balance sheet by generating cash proceeds on completion of AUD $1.7-A$1.9 billion as well as reducing CIMIC’s factoring balance by around AUD $700 million and CIMIC’s lease liability balance by some AUD $500 million.

4. Village Roadshow Limited

Value: USD $542m
Date: July 2020
Sector: Leisure
Investment type/stage: Public to Private
PE: BGH Capital

Village Roadshow is Australia’s cinema and theme park operator founded in Melbourne in 1954. After COVID-19 hit both cinematic and theme parks, industry dynamics were turned upside down - presenting an opportunity for a PE takeover. The new structure will enable BGH to expand Gold Coast theme parks.

5. Affinity Education Group Limited

Value: USD $500m
Date: Jun 2021
Sector: Consumer
Investment type/stage: Buyout
PE: Quadrant Private Equity

Affinity Group is Australia’s largest provider of early education and childcare.

The acquisition is expected to sit in Quadrant’s newly raised AUD $1.24 billion QPE7 fund. With an increased appetite for PE firms entering the childcare sector for the first time - heralded as a new era of childcare that is mostly government backed. Quadrant is expected to continue the expansion of Affinity’s 150 childcare centres, kindergartens, preschools and OSCH locations across Australia.

PE deal type

PE deal volume (left) and PE deal value US$bn (right)

PE deal volume and value 2021

PE deal volumes increased from 124 deals in FY20 to 134 deals in FY21. FY21 deal volume remained lower than FY19, which saw 144 PE deals completed.

Bolt-on and buyouts were the most common PE deal type, representing a majority of deal volume over the last three financial years. Whilst FY20 saw noteworthy restructures and recapitalisations in the form of Bain Capital’s acquisition of Virgin Australia Airlines, FY21 saw the majority of deal value being in bolt-ons, buyouts and growth capital. In particular, bolt-ons increased in volume considerably - from 38 disclosed deals in FY20 to 61 deals in FY21, corresponding to an increase in deal value of USD $1.4bn and USD $1.5bn respectively.

Notable bolt-ons in FY21 include the iFiT and Pamplona Capital Management acquisition of popular workout platform, The Bikini Body Training Company, for USD $400m. This business benefited from at-home workout prominence over FY21 during COVID-19 induced restrictions.

PE deal volume (left) and PE deal value US$m (right)

PE volume by type 2021

Buyouts deal volume ranked second in FY21 at 51 deals, corresponding to USD $3.2bn (third by deal value compared to other deal types in FY21). This however has decreased from the 60 deals at a USD $6.9bn total deal value in FY20 which was influenced by KKR acquisitions of Arnott’s Biscuits Limited for USD $2.2bn (July 2019) and Colonial First State Investments Limited for USD $1.1bn (May 2020).

Most Active Funds

Quadrant Private Equity was the most active fund for the FY21 with a total of 11 disclosed deals primarily focussing on the business services and consumer sectors.

PE deals by firm

PE Deals by firm 2021