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December 22, 2008 - Castle Harlan Affiliate in Australia Buys Lease-Financing Companies

Castle Harlan, Inc., the New York private equity investment company, announced today that CHAMP Private Equity, its Australian affiliate, has acquired two companies involved in the operating lease market in Australia and New Zealand.


One of the companies, Alleasing Pty Ltd, is the largest independent equipment finance business in the two countries.  It provides financing for small-ticket operating leases for corporate and government customers with a focus on information technology, communications and medical equipment. 


Alleasing currently has A$1.3 billion of funded assets for 23,000 clients.  It has offices throughout the area it serves.


The other company acquired by CHAMP, Integrated Asset Management Pty Ltd, is a boutique equipment finance business in Australia that operates in the same key sectors as Alleasing.  It has a portfolio of A$120 million in assets and more than 2,000 clients. 


CHAMP said it planned to merge Integrated Asset Management into Alleasing, enabling the combined enterprise to compete strongly in existing markets and develop new opportunities to finance operating leases.


Terms of the transaction, done by the CHAMP II Funds, were not disclosed.


The managements of the two companies also hold ownership stakes.


CHAMP Private Equity was formed in 2000 as Castle Harlan Australian Mezzanine Partners by the founders of CHAMP’s Australian predecessor and Castle Harlan.  CHAMP Private Equity and its predecessor have made more than 60 investments since 1987 in companies operating in Australia and New Zealand.


The combined worldwide funds under the management of CHAMP Private Equity and Castle Harlan exceed A$5 billion.  CHAMP Private Equity and its predecessor funds have recorded an annual return on funds invested of approximately 30 percent since 1987.  CHAMP Funds have acquired and successfully exited from investments in a variety of sectors, including Austar United Communications, the satellite TV broadcaster for most of Australia; Bradken Limited, Australia’s largest foundry for large metal castings, and Penrice Limited, the only producer of soda ash in Australia.


Current CHAMP portfolio companies include International Energy Services, Manassen Foods, Healthcare Australia, Study Group International, United Malt Holdings and Blue Star Print Group Limited.


Castle Harlan, founded in 1987, invests in controlling interests in the buyout and development of middle-market companies in North America, Europe and, together with CHAMP, in Australasia.  It has completed 49 acquisitions since its inception with a total value in excess of $9 billion.


Castle Harlan’s current portfolio companies, which employ more than 42,000 people, include Ames True Temper, a leading manufacturer of lawn and garden tools and accessories; Baker & Taylor, the leading global distributor of books and entertainment products to libraries and retailers, and Anchor Drilling Fluids USA, Inc., the nation’s largest independent provider of drilling fluids and fluid-handling services for onshore oil and gas drilling.