Australia: CHAMP Private Equity purchases NZ’s Cook Strait ferries

Australian CHAMP Private Equity has purchased Barker family-controlled transport and shipping companies – Bluebridge Cook Strait ferry service operator Strait Shipping, trucking firm Freight Lines, and freight forwarding business Streamline – for an undisclosed amount. The sale follows the passing of New Zealand’s entrepreneur and founder of the companies, Jim Barker.

Strait Shipping managing director and Barker family spokesperson Sheryl Ellison said the sale represents the end of an era for the family, and a very positive future for the business. Her father, Jim Barker, had been closely involved in the sale process up until his death in August.

“It was his vision that these businesses would continue to thrive, grow and lead New Zealand’s transport industry into the future and we’re confident that this sale will ensure this… We are excited about their future under a new growth focused ownership,” she said in a statement.

Commenting on the transaction, CHAMP managing director Cameron Buchanan said his company is excited about the future potential the three companies offer, and is looking forward to working with them for future growth and expansion.

“We’re committed to building on the strong foundations the Barker family has created and growing these businesses for the benefit of not only investors, but also the wider New Zealand freight and passenger transport markets.”

“We are future focused but we also recognize and respect the strong existing heritage of these companies,” he added.

The deal settlement is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2017. It will be subject to regulatory approval.

Strait Shipping started its Cook Strait service with one ferry in 1992 when Barker wanted a service to transport cattle. It now operates two ferries, the Straitsman and Strait Feronia.

The Barker family will retain ownership of Bulklines and Stocklines, which are not included in the sale.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.