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Cortina targets $100m for Australia cross-border fund

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

(AVCJ by Tim Burroughs) - Cortina Capital, a private equity firm that invests in Australian health and wellness brands with export potential in China and other Asian markets, is looking to raise $100 million for its debut fund, AVCJ understands.

The firm was established by Alex Wu, previously of Hong Kong-based multi-family office platform Isola Capital and Olympus Capital Asia, and Dennis Lin, an M&A advisor who went on to invest in and serve as chairman of infant formula producer Bubs Australia. The third founding partner is Kevin Wang, a tax and financing expert.

Numerous GPs have turned to Australia when looking to tap rising Chinese demand for premium food and wellness products that are clean and safe. This thesis was apparent in acquisitions of businesses such as deli meats producer Primo Smallgoods and nutrition specialist Vitaco. It also underpins an entire strategy for Wattle Hill Capital and has brought Chinese managers like Hosen Capital and CDH Investments to Australia in search of deals.

Cortina positions itself in the lower middle market, targeting Australian brands that have yet to penetrate Asian markets and lack the resources and experience to do so on their own. Its sweet spot is check sizes of $7-15 million. The firm wants to make control-oriented investments in businesses and help them go cross-border by leveraging strategic relationships in the region.


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