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NZVCA Growth Capital Deals of the Year

Friday, 19 October 2018, 11:00 am Healthcare and Apparel Win NZVCA Growth Capital Deals of the Year

Successful investments by two private equity firms in Icebreaker and HealthLink won awards from the New Zealand Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (NZVCA) as the best deals of the year at its annual conference in Queenstown (today 18th October).

‘The NZVCA Deal of Year Awards recognise the private equity and venture capital firms that accelerate the ambition of New Zealand business owners through operational improvement and investment performance,’ says NZVCA Executive Director, Colin McKinnon.

Entries were judged on return to investors and the companies’ financial performance. The companies’ contributions to the economy, employment, innovation, consistency and industry competitiveness were also considered.

Mr McKinnon adds: ‘The winners of our 2018 awards are examples of private capital partnering with companies to improve growth and performance, and to share expertise and to provide capital. This ultimately delivers improved productivity, creates jobs and contributes to the national economy.’


DEAL OF THE YEAR over $150 million

Awarded to Pencarrow Private Equity for their investment in Icebreaker

DEAL OF THE YEAR up to $150 million

Awarded to Waterman Capital for their investment in HealthLink

Icebreaker received an expansion capital investment from Pencarrow Private Equity and co-investor, Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), in 2016. The company is a premium outdoor apparel company that prides itself on using natural fibres and adhering to environmental and social ethics. Icebreaker is a multi-channel distribution business that includes a global wholesale platform, e-commerce platform and company owned-retail stores across the United States, Europe, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

Founded in 1994 and credited with creating the merino performance apparel category globally, Icebreaker apparel is sold in 47 countries worldwide and last year made more than $220m in global sales. The company buys 25 per cent of the merino wool New Zealand grows and produces more than four million garments a year.

VF Corporation, the owner of The North Face, Vans and Timberland brands, bought the business in November 2017 after Pencarrow, ACC and the other Icebreaker shareholders had received several offers. VF Corporation was viewed as the best partner for Icebreaker to achieve its global ambitions through their sourcing capability, consumer insights, distribution channels and operating scale.

HealthLink provides a communications system that links the information technology systems of more than 15,000 medical organisations across Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Island nations and Canada. HealthLink provides nearly all of the clinical communications used in New Zealand and is the largest provider of clinical messaging services in Australia. Its customer base uses HealthLink to communicate daily with around 50,000 Australasian medical practitioners, exchanging approximately 100 million pieces of clinical information each year. HealthLink has been responsible for creating large levels of efficiency across both the Australian and New Zealand health systems.

Following a number of international approaches, HealthLink was sold to global healthcare technology specialist, Clanwilliam, wholly owned by US-based Eli Global Group