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AS Colour gets major investment

AS Colour is receiving some pretty big investment from New Zealand's largest private equity firm.

The New Zealand clothing company has received a minority shareholding investment from Direct Capital, in partnership with Lawrence Railton.

Founded in 2005 in Auckland and operating in Aotearoa, Australia and California, AS Colour employs 133 staff. Direct Capital’s Travis Sydney says AS Colour’s trans-Tasman position and record of strong, stable growth were key features that attracted Direct Capital to the investment.

“We have been impressed by AS Colour’s track record of growth, the strength of its brand, market position, and management team,” Sydney said.  “AS Colour has an outstanding set of growth opportunities ahead, and we look forward to applying our resources to achieving successful growth and business outcomes.”

Lawrence Railton will continue to be the majority owner of AS Colour and its board will be joined by Travis Sydney and Mark Macnicol. Day-to-day operations will remain business as usual, with Railton continuing to operate the business as managing director.

Railton welcomed the investment from Direct Capital. “We are looking forward to working with a local partner that is passionate about AS Colour and can bring a shareholder-based perspective to our business. Direct Capital has the capital and expertise to help us act on opportunities and continue the growth we’ve enjoyed over the last 12 years.”

The investment into AS Colour is from Direct Capital’s V fund, which raised $375 million in December 2016 for investment into Australasian private companies.

Direct Capital was established in 1994. It is New Zealand’s largest private equity firm, having raised $1.2 billion in capital for investment into private companies. Its fifth and most recent fund, Direct Capital V, raised $375 million from institutional investors including NZ Super, ACC and the Government Superannuation Fund, along with pension and endowment funds, community trusts and Iwi groups.

Across its currently active funds, the firm has invested in 21 companies with aggregate annual revenues of $1.7 billion and employing more than 5,500 staff.

Direct Capital has partnered some of New Zealand’s best-known and most successful businesses, including the now-NZX-listed Ryman Healthcare, Scales Corporation and New Zealand King Salmon, Bayleys Corporation, Debit Success, Highway Group, NZ Pharmaceuticals and GoBus.

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