Will U.S. PE activity in Australia rebound this year?
March 03, 2016
KKR has announced that Scott Bookmyer, chief operating officer of KKR Asia, will expand his role to assume direct responsibility for KKR Australia, effective July 1. Bookmyer will lead the firm's growing investment platforms in the country, including (but not limited to) private equity, real estate and energy.
KKR’s efforts to build out its Sydney office come during an interesting crossroads for U.S. PE dealmaking in Australia. According to the PitchBook Platform, U.S. investor activity in the country hit a decade record in 2013 with 42 completed deals, a 40% jump from the previous year; however, deal counts have fallen steadily each year since, dropping to 32 transactions in 2015—barely above the 30 deals completed in 2012 before activity peaked.
So will U.S. PE activity in Australia rebound this year? Thus far in 2016, U.S. PE firms have completed five deals in Australian companies, mostly through add-on acquisitions. By comparison, U.S. investors closed seven Australian deals in all of 1Q 2015, and only three were wrapped up by the first two months of that year.
Here are the most active U.S. PE investors in Australian companies since 2009, along with their deal counts (including add-ons):