Previously a publicly listed company, Veda Advantage is now owned by VA Australia Finance, a consortium comprising of Pacific Equity Partners and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity.
Pacific Equity Partners (“PEP”) is the most active private equity fund in Australia and New Zealand, providing strategic management experience and capital resources to grow companies in a range of business situations. PEP Fund IV is the largest private equity fund in Australia and the firm has over $4.5 billion of equity funds under management. Since its establishment in 1998, PEP has made 18 portfolio company acquisitions and more than 20 add-on acquisitions at the company level.
Following the completion of the delisting, Andrew Want, CEO of Veda Advantage, left the company in September 2007. When Andrew Want took over as managing director of BaycorpAdvantage, the company suffered from low growth, write-down of cost associated with the merger of Baycorp and write-off of good will. He concentrated on changing the culture and leadership of the company, brought in new management and instituted a thorough strategic review. He started to implement change and to focus on core business issues. Disgruntled investors however did not grant him the time he wanted to fix the business. In order to keep control, he resorted to a spin-off of the debt collection business, changed the capital structure taking on debt to return capital to shareholders. To shed a perceived negative image of the debt collection business Andrew Want changed the company’s corporate identity to Veda Advantage. Eventually all of his efforts did not prevent shareholders from delisting the company. A search for a new CEO is underway.