Equity firm snags a catch

SEALANES and Rottnest Express are being acquired by companies backed by the same Sydney-based private equity firm.

Superior Food Services announced on November 9 it was acquiring family-run Sealanes and Experience Australia Group acquired Rottnest Express just one week later.

SFS and EAG are both backed by Quadrant Private Equity.

A joint statement issued by SFS and Sealanes stated that all Sealanes staff would be joining Superior and the acquisition was scheduled for December 1.

“As Sealanes will be part of SFS, this ensures that the Sealanes brand will continue in WA,” says Sealanes CEO Leeanda Paino.

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“The Sealanes retail shop will continue to supply fresh seafood and all business will be as usual.”

Sealanes, which specialises in seafood distribution and the ship supply business, dates back to 1895 and has its head office in South Fremantle and a warehouse in Palmyra.

The Rottnest Express deal will result in the four owners of the business becoming shareholders in EAG, which owns Great Southern Rail, according to Business News.

Quadrant is becoming quite the darling for its investors. It started its first capital fund in 1996 and raised $50m, while the private equity fund it’ll use for the WA purchases came in at $980 million and it had to turn some investors away.

The company claims it has realised $3.2 billion in total proceeds form investors, from $1.2 billion cash invested, for a gross internal return of 36 per cent before fees.

It specialises in helping companies to expand, but always enters deals with an exit in mind.

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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