Bluestone Group, a provider of capital and asset management services today announced a new investment by Australia’s Macquarie Bank. Under the terms of the transaction, Macquarie will acquire approximately 17.5% of Bluestone via the subscription of newly issued Ordinary shares. The proceeds of the capital raising will be used to support Bluestone’s expansion in Europe, and build on its success in Australia and New Zealand. Bluestone established an office in the UK in early 2009, and is currently gaining regulatory consents and adapting its loan servicing system to operate as an asset manager in a number of European countries.
Bluestone’s Chairman, Alistair Jeffery, welcomed Macquarie to the business. "We’re very pleased that an institution with the strength and flair of Macquarie has chosen to invest in Bluestone, and we look forward to developing the relationship in the coming years", said Mr Jeffery. "In our view there are a wide range of attractive investment opportunities emerging in the wake of the global financial crisis, and this investment positions Bluestone to benefit from the diverse opportunities we are seeing", he said.
Bluestone was formed in 2000 as a residential lender, expanding into New Zealand in 2003, and later diversifying into reverse and commercial mortgages. In 2007, the group launched Bluestone Servicing, a portfolio administration business with over A$3b under management. When the debt markets closed for new funding in early 2008, Bluestone adapted its business model towards the financing, acquisition and management of financial assets and acquired its first portfolio in late 2008 in New Zealand. The capital raising and refinancing concludes a successful year for Bluestone, which expects to report an after tax profit of $6.4m for the year ended June 30, 2010, on gross assets of $1.4b.
As part of the capital raising, Bluestone has also refinanced approx A$20m of debt on its balance sheet with real-estate investment fund manager, Forum Partners. Funds for the 4 year investment are being provided by Forum’s recently closed Forum Asian Realty Income III, L.P fund which targets real estate related investment opportunities in the Asia / Pacific region. Representatives from both Macquarie and Forum Partners will join Bluestone’s Board. The company has also refinanced a further $28m debt on its balance sheet with BOS International (Australia) Limited, who retain their equity interest in the business.
Russell Platt, CEO of Forum Partners, added, "We are pleased to join with Macquarie and BOS International (Australia) Limited in this capital raising and refinancing for Bluestone. Bluestone brings a unique capability to the market at a time when institutions and investors are seeking solutions to property related challenges. We look forward to the opportunity to broaden our relationship with Bluestone through co-investments in both Australia and New Zealand in the coming years."
Bluestone was advised by Lexicon Partners and Addisons.
Bluestone Group is a provider of asset and capital management services with offices in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. The main business strategy is to finance, acquire and manage portfolios of loans in partnership with capital partners. The business was established in 2000 as a residential mortgage lender, before expanding into reverse and commercial mortgages in subsequent years, and launching a servicing subsidiary in 2007. At the year ended Jun, 2010, Bluestone has total assets of A$1.36b and reported a profit after tax of A$6.5m.
Macquarie Group (Macquarie) is a global provider of banking, financial, advisory, investment and funds management services. Macquarie’s main business focus is making returns by providing a diversified range of services to clients. Macquarie acts globally on behalf of institutional, corporate and retail clients and counterparties. Founded in 1969, Macquarie employs more than 15,500 people in approximately 70 office locations in 28 countries. At 30 September 2010, Macquarie had assets under management of €225 billion.
Forum Partners Investment Management LLC is a global real estate investment management firm with $2 billion in assets under management on behalf of institutional investors and family offices. Forum provides restructuring capital and market expertise to small and mid-size real estate companies that are traditionally underserved in the capital markets. Since its establishment in 2002, Forum has made investments in more than 70 companies across 21 countries in Europe and Asia. Forum Partners Investment Management LLC is affiliated with Forum Securities Limited, a global investment management firm, which manages private investment accounts for institutions and family offices, with an investment focus on global real estate public securities.