Los Angeles Business Journal

Platinum Equity Closes $6.5 Billion Fund, Purchases Staples’ Australia and New Zealand Business Units

By Henry Meier Monday, March 13, 2017

Platinum Equity announced Monday the closing of a $6.5 billion fund and the new investment vehicle’s latest acquisition, a buyout of Staples Inc.’s Australian and New Zealand business for an undisclosed sum.

The Staples transaction is indicative of the kinds of wide-ranging deals the Beverly Hills-based private equity shop will pursue through the newly-raised capital fund, according to a statement from Platinum Equity founder and Chief Executive Tom Gores.

“We have the capacity, the capability and the capital necessary to handle transactions of any size and complexity anywhere in the world,” Gores said.

Platinum Equity will leverage its management expertise to streamline the operations of the South Pacific Staples carve out.

“The Staples business in Australia and New Zealand has extraordinary potential as a standalone enterprise," said Platinum Equity principal Adam Cooper in a statement. “It has a strong customer base, dedicated employees and a long history in the markets it serves. We look forward to partnering with the management team to make substantial investments to optimize the company's digital and systems capabilities with a focus on enhancing the customer experience.”

The new fund is the fourth private equity fund raised by Platinum Equity since 2004 and by far the largest, almost doubling the size of their $3.5 billion vehicle that closed in 2012. The firm began raising capital for the new fund in May 2016 and received contributions from more than 200 limited partners, mostly in the institutional space. It officially closed in February and was heavily oversubscribed, according to Platinum Equity.

The scale of the new fund will likely continue the trend of Platinum Equity doing more sizeable deals. The Staples deal announced Monday follows the firm’s $4 billion November purchase of Columbus, Ohio-based Emerson Network Power, which was rebranded as Vertiv.

Deals & Dealmakers reporter Henry Meier can be reached at hmeier@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @henry_meier.