Thomson Playford Cutlers advises Harbert Australia Private Equity Fund

2 June 2009


Commercial law firm Thomson Playford Cutlers assisted Harbert Australia Private Equity with its first major transaction – an 18.1% stake in Solar Shop Australia.


The investment in Solar Shop Australia was announced on May 25 and is the first investment for Harbert’s private equity fund in Australia.


Harbert’s equity interest in Solar Shop values the business at $50 million.


Harbert has also announced the first close of the private equity fund, having secured

$40 million seed capital, and plans to raise further capital for a $100 million fund.


The Thomson Playford Cutlers team working on the transaction was Partner Loretta Reynolds and Senior Associate Carissa Hillyard.


“We worked closely with the fund’s Australian-based managers Jeremy Steele and Brendan Anderson, its external financial advisers KPMG and A.T Kearney and the team advising Solar Shop (which included Minter Ellison) to ensure a smooth transaction.”


Harbert is a private equity firm targeting lower-middle market investments, particularly within South Australia and Victoria. Its parent company is Harbert Management Corporation, the US$2.5 billion independent alternative investment firm based in Alabama, USA.


Solar Shop Australia is the leading installer of grid connect solar systems in Australia. Its core business is focused on the sale and installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels for domestic houses and off-grid stand alone power systems, solar hot water systems and associated products (including wind power).


Solar Shop Australia made significant inroads into the growing commercial solar market in March this year, winning the first large scale commercial project in Australia, the 1MV PV rooftop installation of the Adelaide Showgrounds.