Riverside Co. Opens Shop in Australia

The Riverside Co. has opened an office in Melbourne, Australia. It will be led by existing Riverside partner Simon Feiglin.


Global private equity firm The Riverside Company has opened an office in Melbourne, Australia as part of Riverside Asia Fund (RAF). The new office will focus principally on finding and evaluating attractive middle market opportunities in Australia, strengthening Riverside’s presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Melbourne office complements RAF offices in Hong Kong, China; Tokyo, Japan; and Seoul, South Korea. In addition to its anticipated upcoming investments, RAF I has made three investments (two platforms and one add-on).

Riverside, which invests in growing companies with enterprise values of US$200 million or less, now has 19 offices in 13 countries on four continents around the world. By generating consistently superior returns through top-quartile fund performance, the firm has grown steadily since it opened in New York City in 1988.

Riverside’s Australian efforts are being led by Partner Simon Feiglin, who joined Riverside in 2007 and has been working closely with the RAF team since 2008.

“We have spent the last 18 months developing our deal pipeline in Australia and have been impressed with the large number of high-quality, privately owned businesses which are available for sale. We are excited to apply our operationally-focused business model to begin helping local entrepreneurs expand their sales opportunities both domestically and internationally using our global business development teams,” said Riverside Asia Fund Manager Stu Baxter.

Mr. Feiglin is a native of Melbourne who was most recently based in Riverside’s Cleveland office. He has extensive experience with the RAF team, and has also worked with the Riverside Micro-Cap Fund, which focuses on smaller LBO deals.

RAF has begun 2010 with a flurry of activity, much of it in Australia. RAF, which invests in the developed economies in Asia, has three companies under letter of intent.

The decision to expand into Australia is a strategic part of a careful plan, said Riverside Co-CEO Béla Szigethy.

“Ever since we launched RAF in 2008, we’ve known that Australia was the next logical step, and we’ve been building relationships there for years in anticipation of this day,” said Szigethy. “We are excited by Australia’s abundance of entrepreneurial small cap managerial talent and successful economic ties with growing Asian markets, as well as the wonderful opportunity to open addressable markets for successful products and services and exporting the best of Australia to the rest of the world.

“This fits our business model, which emphasizes a local presence backed by a powerful global network of offices, professionals and capabilities,” said Riverside Co-CEO Stewart Kohl. “This allows us to clearly understand the markets in which we invest, which allows us to capitalize on possibilities wherever they may arise. Our global strategy has earned us a lot of success in the last 22 years by making us better buyers, better investors, and better owners who can grow portfolio companies faster. Ultimately, it means we generate superior returns.”

The Riverside Company (www.riversidecompany.com or www.riversideeurope.com)
The Riverside Company is a global private equity firm focused on acquiring leading small and medium-sized enterprises (with a value of up to $200 million) and partnering with strong management teams to enhance the success of its companies through acquisitions and organic growth. Since its founding in 1988, the firm has invested in 227 transactions with a total enterprise value of $5.0 billion/€4.2 billion. The investment portfolio in North America, Europe and Asia includes 70 companies with annual sales totaling $3.3 billion/€2.5 billion, EBITDA of $506 million/€384 million and more than 13,000 employees (June 2009). Riverside offers the resources to complete acquisitions smoothly – thanks to its more than $3.0 billion/€2.4 billion in assets under management, its more than 180 professionals in 19 offices (Atlanta, Brussels, Budapest, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Luxembourg, Madrid, Melbourne, Munich, New York, Prague, San Francisco, Seoul, Stockholm, Tokyo and Warsaw) and its longstanding relationships with partner lenders. According to Thomson Venture Economics, eight of Riverside’s nine mature funds rank in the top 25% of all funds (as of 30 June 2009). The firm’s investors include the world’s leading pension funds, endowments, funds of funds, insurance companies and banks.