Pohutukawa Announces Second Direct Investment

4 October 2005

Pohutukawa Private Equity announces its second direct investment into a Company.  Pohutukawa and other investors sourced by Pohutukawa managers, Direct Capital, have entered into an unconditional agreement to acquire Express International Logistics Limited with final completion by 31 October 2005.  Pohutukawa will attain a 21% equity stake for an investment of $2.125m. Pohutukawa is committed to investing a further $787,000 if required by the Company in the future. 

The following is the official media release by Pohutukawa manager Direct Capital:

Leading logistics operator Express International Logistics announces succession buyout by Management and Direct Capital

In conjunction with management, Direct Capital today announced that it had signed an unconditional agreement to acquire Express International Logistics (“Express”), with final completion by October 31. Direct Capital, Pohutukawa Private Equity and investment company Waterman Holdings have acquired a majority shareholding in Express, with the balance of the shares owned by Express founder Brendon Thomas, Managing Director Graeme Mann and other senior Express managers and staff who are investing alongside Direct Capital and Pohutukawa.

Express is one of New Zealand's leading logistics companies, based in Auckland and Sydney with five other sites, employing over 200 people. Throughout New Zealand and Australia Express are licensed customs brokers, IATA accredited airfreight forwarders and operate their own customs bonded warehouse facilities. Beyond Australia and New Zealand, Express works with a select network of agents to offer import, export air and ocean freight services on all major trade lanes to and from Australia and New Zealand.

Brendon Thomas and Graeme Mann will remain as directors alongside representatives of both Direct Capital and Waterman. Graeme Mann will continue as Managing Director of Express and an Australian based independent director is expected to be appointed shortly.

Mark Hutton, founding partner of Direct Capital said, “The Express buyout is an exciting opportunity to invest in a market leading logistics business in a dynamic and growing sector. Direct Capital is looking forward to working with the Express management team to support the company’s continued expansion and development and also effect a seamless succession plan.”

Graeme Mann, Express Managing Director, added that "The investment by Direct Capital, Pohutukawa and Waterman allows us to take advantage of growth opportunities including further development in the Australian market, in the knowledge that we have both the capital and strategic support from our new partner to do so. This is a very positive development for Express including an opportunity for staff to participate as shareholders. It will ensure the business will expand alongside our key stakeholders."

Express provides clients with total supply chain solutions. This includes advice on issues surrounding international trade, buying terms and supply chain design and structure. This is critical for a number of our internationally focussed customers who are experiencing high growth rates and are sourcing product from one region and selling globally.   

For further information:

Graeme Mann, Express International Logistics Limited, + 64 9 275 4000.

Ross George or Mark Hutton, Direct Capital Private Equity, + 64 9 307 2562.

For further information on Express Logistics visit www.xprs.co.nz