Anchorage Newsletter November 2023

The latest portfolio news from Anchorage

Sunset view from Kirribilli across Sydney Harbour to the Opera House, encompassing the Harbour Bridge.

Anchorage ("ACP") Wins Australian Investment Council Award

The Australian Investment Council has awarded Anchorage Capital Partners (ACP) its Mid Cap Investment Award for its investment in Rail First Asset Management (Rail First), Australia’s leading provider of full-service vertically integrated rolling stock leasing and maintenance solutions to the rail industry.

Accepting the award on behalf of ACP, ACP Managing Partner and Rail First board member Callen O’Brien said: “We are grateful for AIC’s recognition of this successful ACP investment. We would also like to recognise the support from our key advisors on this transaction - Rothschild & Co. as financial advisor, Gilbert + Tobin as legal counsel and PwC as accounting and tax advisor.”

Under ACP's ownership, the Company was repositioned to focus on Australia’s growing intermodal sector; new systems and processes were implemented; and material investment was made in assets which have delivered strong, sustainable growth.

Beau Dixon, ACP Managing Partner and Rail First Chairman said: “Rail First is an excellent example of ACP identifying a complex special situation early. Prior to ACP's acquisition, Rail First was an underperforming, non-core asset. Repositioning Rail First’s strategic direction and fixing the bottom line sustainably has delivered a high performing asset manager with a resilient business model,” Under ACP ownership, Rail First doubled contracted earnings within three years and materially increased contract tenor, setting the company up for further growth.

Having delivered it's change program, ACP made the decision to exit Rail First in 2022 and after an extensive global sale process, the successful bidder was a consortium comprising Amber Infrastructure and DIF Capital Partners.

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AIC award

Anchorage Portfolio Company, David Jones, Announces New Chief Financial Officer & New Chief Technology Officer

David Jones recently welcomed two new members to its Leadership Team – Clint May and Hugh Fahy.

Clint May joined David Jones as Chief Financial Officer in October. Clint brings extensive retail experience from Spotlight Group Holdings — a privately owned Australian company which operates -well-known brands such as Spotlight, Anaconda, Mountain Designs and Harris Scarfe — where he was the Group Chief Financial Officer and Board Member.

Clint has a long history of leading and delivering transformation to achieve business outcomes, with experience in senior roles and projects across the retail, pharmaceutical, automotive, environmental, and mining industries. Clint also led the acquisition and integration of the Harris Scarfe business for the Spotlight Group.

Hugh Fahey also joined David Jones recently as Chief Technology Officer. Hugh brings extensive customer focused systems and enterprise experience from AGL and Net-A-Porter Group where he was the Chief Technology Officer and head of technology / digital transformation for Asia Pacific, respectively.

Hugh has a successful track record of leading and delivering material IT and systems infrastructure projects including transformation and separation, as well as standing up a holistic ecosystem to achieve business outcomes. His experience aligns directly with the investment thesis including complete upgrades to systems and process including the online presence of David Jones.

David Jones
Clint May
Hugh Fahy

Anchorage ("ACP") Senior Management Forum

As part of its fully integrated approach to portfolio management and engagement with senior leadership across its portfolio companies, ACP held its annual senior management forum in Sydney in September.

The forum bought the full Anchorage team together with the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officers across the ACP portfolio.

Management teams shared their journey with ACP to date, key focus areas over the next 12 months and challenges / opportunities they are executing on at their respective portfolio companies.

ACP facilitated the discussion to support management in establishing a wider network of relationships across the portfolio and provide the ability for teams to leverage their experience across the key frameworks implemented by ACP at each board and operations committee.

The teams also heard from Adam Machon, Chief Executive Officer at Contract Resources during our investment on lessons learned, focus on communication and transparency and the key drivers to accelerate management partnerships with ACP.

David Jones
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