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Gresham Acquires Leading NZ Retail Business

23 August 2004

Gresham acquires leading New Zealand retail business

The directors of Gresham Private Equity (“GPE”) announced today that it had completed its acquisition of the Noel Leeming, Bond & Bond and Big Byte businesses from Pacific Retail Group Limited (“PRG”) for NZ$138.5 million.

Equity finance for the acquisition will be provided from Gresham’s second Private Equity fund which last week announced the successful closure of its $100m Co-Investment Fund which combined with its institutional fund raising is expected to reach in excess of $300 million at its final close scheduled for early 2005. GPE was advised by Cameron & Company with debt finance provided by Bank of Scotland.

Roy McKelvie, Managing Director of Gresham Private Equity said, “The businesses acquired are New Zealand’s leading consumer appliance and electrical retailers with market share of approximately 26% and turnover in 2004 in excess of NZ$475 million.” He added that, “The acquisition is an exciting opportunity to acquire a market leading business and Gresham is looking forward to working with all stakeholders in the business including employees, customers and suppliers in supporting the continued growth of these iconic brands in New Zealand”.

As regards the outlook for the Private Equity investment environment, McKelvie is positive saying, “There are a lot of untapped opportunities out there, certainly in terms of deal flow we are seeing”. He added that , “Whilst the local market had not yet reached the peaks and troughs of the Private Equity markets of the United States and Britain, it appeared that’s its first cycle was almost complete and the second investment cycle was now beginning”.

With strong deal flow and fund raising progressing ahead of plan, McKelvie flagged that GPE is currently seeking to add a couple of senior executives as momentum continues to build.

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