Direct Capital Invests in AS Colour

Direct Capital is pleased to announce that it has invested to acquire a minority shareholding in AS Colour, in partnership with founder and Managing Director Lawrence Railton.

AS Colour is a leading international provider of high quality blank apparel and other merchandise to the screen and digital garment printing industry, a sector often referred to as printwear.  Well known for its small network of successful retail stores, AS Colour is a thriving business to business wholesaler, supplying its products into a diverse range of end uses, including event merchandising, corporate events, speciality retail, uniforms, team apparel, and promotional activities.  The Company has established a strong position in the printwear industry, a large and well performing sector benefiting from growth in e-commerce and advances in digital printing technology.

AS Colour was founded in 2005 and operates in New Zealand, Australia, and California, employing 133 staff.  It is headquartered in Auckland.

The Company’s trans-Tasman position and successful history of strong, stable growth were key features that attracted Direct Capital to the investment.

“We have been impressed by AS Colour’s track record of growth, the strength of its brand, market position, and management team” said Direct Capital’s Travis Sydney.  “AS Colour has an outstanding set of growth opportunities ahead, and we look forward to applying our resources to achieving successful growth and business outcomes.”

Lawrence Railton will continue to be the majority owner of AS Colour and its board will be joined by Travis Sydney and Mark Macnicol as independent director.  Day to day operations will remain business as usual, with Lawrence continuing to operate the business as Managing Director, together with his capable management team.

Mr Railton welcomed the investment from Direct Capital.  “We are looking forward to working with a local partner that is passionate about AS Colour and can bring a shareholder-based perspective to our business. Direct Capital has the capital and expertise to help us act on opportunities and continue the growth we’ve enjoyed over the last 12 years.”

The investment into AS Colour is from Direct Capital’s V fund, which raised $375 million in December 2016 for investment into Australasian private companies. 

About Direct Capital

Direct Capital was established in 1994 and is New Zealand’s largest private equity firm having raised $1.2 billion in capital for investment into private companies.  Its fifth and most recent fund, Direct Capital V, raised $375 million from institutional investors including NZ Super, ACC and the Government Superannuation Fund, along with pension and endowment funds, community trusts and Iwi groups.

Across its currently active funds, the firm has invested in 21 companies with aggregate annual revenues of $1.7 billion and employing more than 5,500 staff. 

Direct Capital has partnered some of New Zealand’s best-known and most successful businesses, including the now-NZX-listed Ryman Healthcare, Scales Corporation and New Zealand King Salmon; Bayleys Corporation, Debit Success, Highway Group, NZ Pharmaceuticals and GoBus.