NZ Truck & Driver News

 
NZ investors buy Aussie stake in TR Group

NZ investors buy Aussie stake in TR Group

NZ Truck & Driver News

 August 2020   
A significant stake in TR Group – previously held by an Australian private equity group – has now been bought by Kiwi investors.The 31% holding in the giant New Zealand truck and trailer lease and rental operation had been owned by the Australian CHAMP Ventures since 2014.

The shareholding has now been bought from CHAMP by a leading local private equity firm, Direct Capital – in conjunction with the NZ Superannuation Fund and iwi direct investment entity Te Pūia Tāpapa. 

The value of the deal has not been disclosed.

TR Group managing director Andrew Carpenter says the change in the stakeholders is a very positive move for the company: "While we had a very fruitful working relationship with CHAMP Ventures, there was always a predetermined limited timeframe to its involvement, so when we started looking for a new partner, Direct Capital was an excellent choice to pick up the stake."

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A significant stake in TR Group – previously held by an Australian private equity group – has now been bought by Kiwi investors.
The 31% holding in the giant New Zealand truck and trailer lease and rental operation had been owned by the Australian CHAMP Ventures since 2014.
The shareholding has now been bought from CHAMP by a leading local private equity firm, Direct Capital – in conjunction with the NZ Superannuation Fund and iwi direct investment entity Te Pūia Tāpapa. 
The value of the deal has not been disclosed.
TR Group managing director Andrew Carpenter says the change in the stakeholders is a very positive move for the company: "While we had a very fruitful working relationship with CHAMP Ventures, there was always a predetermined limited timeframe to its involvement, so when we started looking for a new partner, Direct Capital was an excellent choice to pick up the stake."
Negotiations between CHAMP Ventures and Direct Capital were comfortable, he says – while having the Super Fund and Te Pūia Tāpapa as co-investors added significantly to the deal: "It's perfect from our point of view, because not only does it mean the holding is back in local hands, but the new investors have a long time horizon.
"That is especially true in the case of Te Pūia Tāpapa and why we are very happy that they are part of the mix – because they are committed to leaving things in better shape for the next generation. 
"That is very much in line with our own philosophy, and brings something unique to the investment by way of core values."
TR Group was founded in 1992 by the Carpenter family and now serves over 1300 customers with a fleet of around 6500 vehicles. Its activities include truck and trailer rental, whole of fleet leasing and vehicle sales. Driver training is provided by subsidiaries Master Drive Services and online provider DT Driver Training, the latter acquired in late 2018. 
TR Group entered the Australian market in July last year, with the 100% purchase of Melbourne-based trailer rental company, Semi Skel Hire – the largest operator of its type in Victoria, with nearly 1200 trailers on its books. 
Direct Capital was established in 1994 and is NZ's largest private equity firm, having raised $1.6billion in capital for investment into private companies. It has partnered some of NZ's best-known and most successful businesses, including the now-NZX-listed Ryman Healthcare, Scales Corporation, NZ King Salmon and the Hiway Group. 
TR Group's trans-Tasman position and successful history of growth were key features that attracted Direct Capital to the investment, says director Hugh Cotterill, who will be joining the TR board on behalf of the new investors: "We are impressed by TR Group's track record of growth, the strength of its brand, market position, management team and company culture."
Te Pūia Tāpapa was established in 2018, and is made up of 26 iwi and Māori organisations, from Nelson-Marlborough, lower and central North Island, Taranaki, Waikato, Bay of Plenty,  Hauraki, Northland,  Auckland  and the Chatham Islands. The name "Te Pūia Tāpapa" is derived from the seed beds used to grow kūmara seedlings. 
The TR Group deal is the fund's biggest investment to date.  

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