Firms: Minter Ellison (White Cloud Capital Advisers); Herbert Smith Freehills (Independent Board Committee of Careers Australia Group)
Deal: European private equity firm White Cloud Capital Advisers has acquired full control of Careers Australia Group (CAG), the Queensland-based provider of vocational education and training
Area: Education & training/Private equity
Value: $61 million
Key players: Melbourne-based Minters partner Jeremy Blackshaw (pictured) led for his firm, assisted by senior associate Kate Koidl. Philippa Stone acted for HSF
Deal significance: White Cloud outbid rival Crescent Capital Partners for CAG. White Cloud’s final bid of 87 cents per share values the equity in CAG at $111 million. The bid has been recommended to shareholders by CAG’s independent board committee. Minority shareholders associated with a CAG competitor made two applications to the Takeovers Panel to prevent the White Cloud bid from proceeding. After considering the applications and submissions on behalf of White Cloud, the Panel refused to conduct proceedings on both occasions. Lead Minters partner Jeremy Blackshaw commented: “Despite current relatively subdued M&A activity, this transaction shows there is still active competition for good assets.” White Cloud, which manages funds for European, Indian and Asian family investment offices (including Amsterdam-based investor BXR Group), invests strategic growth capital in fast-growing companies primarily in Europe and the Asia-Pacific. Careers Australia provides training and education to more than 10,000 students a year, from 16 sites across Australia.
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