Carlyle, QIC make moves Down Under

Ventures from Carlyle and QIC will see millions of dollars committed to investing in private credit in Australia and New Zealand.

Carlyle Group has joined forces with Sydney-based fund manager amicaa to make opportunistic private debt investments in Australia and New Zealand, writes Andy Thomson.

The investment firm will commit funds from its global credit platform to the joint venture, which will combine amicaa’s local deal sourcing with the resources of Carlyle’s $143 billion platform.

It will comprise two strategies: the amicaa core-plus strategy, which will focus on delivering stable, income-orientated returns from Australian and New Zealand corporate loan investments; and the amicaa credit opportunities strategy, which will focus on providing financing solutions for acquisitions, growth and re-financings where a tailored capital package is required.

Carlyle said it was seeing a growth opportunity in Australia and New Zealand as banks shift away from corporate lending and companies increasingly seek out private capital for growth and acquisition. Private equity firms are increasingly looking to private debt to support deals.

Formed in 2019, amicaa is headed by David Wood, chief executive officer, who was previously vice-chair and head of investment banking for Australia and New Zealand at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Co-founder David Hoskins is head of private credit, having previously been at CIP Asset Management where he was head of acquisition and leveraged finance investments and managed credit investments for the Challenger Group for 14 years.

Carlyle’s involvement in the JV will be led by Taj Sidhu, managing director with Carlyle Global Credit, and Jay Ditmarsch, a member of the Carlyle Credit Opportunities team within the global credit platform.

Mandate for QIC

Continuing the focus on developments Down Under, QIC‘s multi-sector private debt team has been handed a three-year mandate worth at least A$500 million (€341 million; $341 million) by State Investments, which manages Queensland’s financial interests.

The mandate involves the origination of loan investments in Australia and New Zealand typically between A$20 million-A$50 million, but possibly up to A$75 million.

In a statement, State Investments chief investment officer Allison Hill said she was confident QIC would deliver attractive risk-adjusted returns, capital preservation and low volatility through directly originated and bank-led senior and mezzanine corporate debt opportunities.

The multi-sector private debt team’s diversified portfolio includes corporate leveraged loans, asset-backed securities and real estate debt, and was added to its private debt platform earlier this year. It also includes infrastructure debt.

“In this current volatile and inflationary landscape, we need a holistic private debt offering which has scope to move up the risk spectrum when opportunities present themselves,” said Hill.

“History suggests investing in periods of dislocation can be attractive, yet we needed confidence in a manager’s expertise in investment selection and structuring to navigate this environment and avoid borrower distress.”