Historically, the New Zealand private equity market has been characterised by domestic players in the mid-market, with blockbuster deals typically the preserve of offshore, mostly Australian, firms. In the more constrained environment following the global financial crisis, the Australian presence has been subdued but this seems to be starting to change.

Although acquisitions of the size of Independent Liquor and Yellow Pages (each more than $1b) appear unlikely, Australian private equity (and the Australian outposts of major American and European firms) do appear to be at least "kicking the tyres" on New Zealand investment opportunities. The coming year may see this interest translate into significant transactions.

The information in this article is for informative purposes only and should not be relied on as legal advice. Please contact Chapman Tripp for advice tailored to your situation.