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H&G has historically had a significant portfolio of investments in private businesses that provide an important source of dividends, capital growth and candidates for IPOs or other forms of liquidity or M&A activity.
Private businesses are usually valued at a substantial discount to public companies reflecting the illiquidity of their shares and other relevant risks. However, not being public often assists early growth of companies without the scrutiny of competitors and restrictions and additional costs of being listed and meeting compliance expectations. Private businesses will continue to be an ongoing investment focus for H&G.
Mountcastle, established in 1835, is a leading Australian supplier, wholesaler, and retailer of both customized private and public-school uniforms within Australia.
The School Uniform industry in Australia is estimated at A$1bn revenue p.a.
The School Uniform industry in Australia is estimated at A$1bn revenue p.a. and is highly fragmented. With the acquisition of LW Reid Pty Ltd in December 2019, Mountcastle became one of the largest industry players & continues to grow year on year.
FY22 was another record year of revenue and profits for Mountcastle despite continued impacts of the pandemic in key regions. During the year Mountcastle completed two buybacks of minority shareholders at accretive prices, with H&G’s ownership interest increasing to 49.4% from 39.7% at 30 September 2021.
The H&G management team continues to assist Mountcastle in progressing strategic opportunities in industry consolidation, increased operational efficiencies, access to new markets, product innovation, diversified manufacturing capability, e-commerce platforms & access to cheaper equity & debt capital.
Mountcastle has a significant acquisition pipeline and aims to complete transformational M&A during FY23.
Disruptive Packaging (DP) is an Australian based inventor, manufacturer and marketer of a revolutionary sustainable technology, Unicor® .
Unicor is made of 70% natural elements and is 100% recyclable with numerous commercial applications in global industries The Unicor box is a sustainable, cost-effective, high-performance solution to replace wax cardboard and polystyrene in the packaging industry.
Since 2016 DP has invested significant founder capital and efforts into developing, protecting and commercializing DP’s intellectual property.
H&G funded DP’s first external growth capital raise in June 2022 to complete its manufacturing set up in Mexico and exploit rapidly growing demand from the North American customer base. With millions of units shipped, ~$5m FY22 revenue (+80% on FY21) and a significant global pipeline of customers, DP is poised for another step change in growth.
H&G’s provided DP’s growth capital through its first syndicated investment, raising $8.4 million in a H&G-managed trust (including a net $5.8 million contribution by H&G’s balance sheet, since syndicated further) to invest preferred equity into DP.