Global credit giant Carlyle and its local joint venture partner Amicaa are getting into the fuel retailing business.

Street Talk can reveal the pair have signed off on a $128 million ($NZ140 million) debt financing deal to fund a management buyout of 55-year-old family-owned New Zealand fuel retailer NPD.

The loan, which marks the third deal by the Carlyle-Amicaa team and funding on Wednesday morning, will allow current NPD chief executive and 10 per cent shareholder Barry Sheridan to take 100 per cent of the company.

Proceeds will be used to refinance existing debts, for transaction fees and to fund growth, with its new owners looking to roll out additional sites.

Amicaa’s head of private debt David Hoskins and Carlyle Credit Opportunities’ Jay Ditmarsch led the deal – the same duo who provided debt financing to audio equipment giant Rode and Aussie fashion icon Zimmerman to help finance Advent International’s acquisition.

Rode used the funds to acquire of American audio equipment manufacture Mackie in late 2023  in one of the biggest private credit transactions of the year.

NPD, or Nelson Petroleum Distributors, was founded by the Milne Family in 1969. The fuel distributor owns and operates a fuel transport fleet, distributes fuel cards to customers, and has a network of 109 stores across NZ’s North and South islands.

Locally, it comes up against large players including BP, Mobil and Z Energy. Ampol sold its New Zealand petroleum distribution business to Australian investment manager Allegro for $534 million in 2022, clearing the path for the oil refiner to complete its takeover of Z Energy.

Carlyle Global Credit, which manages $US186 billion in assets, has done a series of petrol station and convenience store deals globally.

Street Talk understands the group looked closely at Norway and California in assessing this deal, which both have similar regulatory and EV penetration patterns.

“We are excited to work with Barry and the management team of NPD to facilitate this transaction that ensures this New Zealand business can remain independent and continue to thrive,” Hoskins and Carlyle head of European and Asian private credit Taj Sidhu said.

“The transaction underlines our ability to provide flexible capital solutions in complex situations for strong family-owned businesses.”

Sheridan added: “We are grateful for the support of Carlyle and Amicaa, which allows NPD to remain a values-led family-owned business while providing growth funding to fulfil our ambition to build additional sites across the South and North Islands.”

Carlyle tapped Amicaa as its opportunistic private debt manager in Australia and New Zealand in 2022, promising more than $1 billion in capital in an effort to get a slice of the local loans market.

Carlyle has been busy restocking its war chest, homing in on a $400 million first close for its new credit opportunities fund, Street Talk understands.

Hoskins, who heads Amicaa’s private debt business, was formerly the head of acquisition finance for Challenger Group’s CIP Asset Management.

Ditmarsch, a deal maker who has rivals and corporates talking on both sides of the market, is on the board of Bis Industries and was member of Macquarie Capital’s principal transactions group before joining Carlyle.

Extracted in full from:  https://www.afr.com/street-talk/carlyle-amicaa-fund-128m-management-buyout-of-nz-fuel-retailer-npd-20240521-p5jfe9

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