Private Equity

Our co-investors participate alongside Wingate in tailored private equity opportunities that are sourced, structured and executed by Wingate. Our focus is on partnering with outstanding businesses and experienced management teams with Wingate taking a hands-on approach to the creation of sustainable value.

Our current portfolio of live investments includes Medical Channel, Life Health Foods (UK), Learning Seat and NOW FINANCE.

Sector: Health and Wellbeing

Medical Channel is the fastest growing point-of-care media company in Australia, operating screens located in GP practices across every state and territory. They have over 3,000 screens which are viewed approximately 6 million times per month.

Investment Date: September 2016

The opportunity

The Australian digital outdoor advertising market is enjoying consistently strong growth, currently in excess of 50% per annum, and the fundamentals of the healthcare sector support further growth.

Our approach

Along with our co-investment partner, Sandbar Investments, we facilitated a merger between Medical Channel and Community Network to create a marketing leading business. Both Wingate and Sandbar will maintain an active role in the ongoing direction and management of the business.

Sector: Health and Wellbeing

Life Health Foods (LHF) is a UK based partnership between Wingate and Sanitarium, one of Australia’s leading consumer product businesses.

Investment Date: December 2014

The opportunity

This investment presented an opportunity to partner with an iconic Australian brand and to tap into an attractive growth industry.

The UK market is three times the size of Australia and the ‘on the go’ breakfast category is relatively new in this market, but research indicates an increasing demographic shift towards nutritious options, including liquid breakfast options.

Our approach

We provided seed capital along with ongoing Board level strategic direction. We collaborate closely with the management team and maintain a strong and active presence on the LHF board. We continue to leverage the expertise of leading industry experts from within our co-investor network.

Sector: Education

Learning Seat specialises in providing compliance, professional development and accredited training as well as developing fully customised online courses.

Investment Date: November 2012

The opportunity

Learning Seat presented a strong track record of growth and profitability, in a sector that is highly fragmented with no clear market leader. Their customer base evidenced loyalty and stability, with high retention rates and strong annuity revenue.

Industry fundamentals highlighted the potential for this market, and the management team demonstrated strong financial performance and capability. This offered us an attractive opportunity to work in close partnership with Learning Seat and bring our expertise to harness future growth.

Our approach

In partnership with The Riverside Company, we facilitated a management buyout in order to capture the growth anticipated in the online learning space. To date we have taken a very active role in shaping the strategy for the business, including sourcing bolt-on acquisition opportunities. Board level representation provides strategic foresight and targeted growth initiatives.

Sector: Financial Services

NOW FINANCE is a credible and trusted non-bank lender with a unique business platform. Now Finance personal loan products are distributed nationally via point of sale, finance brokers and direct channels.

Investment Date: April 2015

The opportunity

The personal loan market is very attractive, with non-bank lenders rapidly winning market share from the major and regional banks with technology led disruption.

We recognised there was a significant opportunity to tap into this underdeveloped market by investing in a robust business with a compelling growth strategy.

Our approach

We work closely with the management team to provide ongoing strategic and financial expertise, as well as Board level representation. We partner with our extensive co-investment network to provide financial capability and targeted insights for growth acceleration.

Private Equity Team

Kevin Wunsh

Managing Director Private Equity and Corporate Debt, Sydney

B.Com, LLB

Kevin has over 20 years’ experience working in Australia and internationally in investment management, corporate advisory and strategy with a particular focus on private equity.

Kevin started his career as a corporate lawyer at Herbert Smith Freehills, and has held roles at AT Kearney, Babcock & Brown and was a founding Director of Alceon.

Michael Kurland

Director, Private Equity

Michael is a specialist in private equity and structured finance. He previously spent 14 years at Investec Bank (South Africa and London) as a senior banker primarily in the Specialised Finance and Lending Divisions.

Michael is a qualified Chartered Accountant (South African Institute of Chartered Accountants) as well as a CFA Charterholder (CFA Institute, USA).

Special Advisor

Darren Smorgon

B Ec (Honours), M Com (Merit), Grad Dip, Finsia

Darren is the Managing Director of Sandbar Investments, a private investment company. He was previously a Partner, member of the Executive Committee and a Director of CHAMP Private Equity where he spent 16 years. While at CHAMP he led the acquisition and portfolio management of companies including oOh!media (an ASX listed company which he remains on the board of as a Non-Executive Director), Study Group Pty Ltd, LCR Group Pty Ltd and Golding Contractors Pty Ltd.