Australian Private Equity


Disciplined investment strategy

  • Focus on lower middle-market Australian resident companies (enterprise values of A$10–100 million) that are based in the regions of Victoria and South Australia.
  • Focus on niche industries believed to be fragmented and overlooked by private equity and other institutional investors.
  • A conservative approach to valuation and associated debt leverage reflecting a disciplined due diligence process that is tailored to the unique circumstances of middle-market companies.
  • The team brings significant experience in operational and management improvements post investment.

Investment Team

Jeremy E. Steele
Vice President & Senior Managing Director

Jeremy Steele

Mr. Steele joined HMC in 2008 to establish the Australian Private Equity Strategy. Before joining the firm, Mr. Steele was Head of ANZ Private Equity (“ANZPE”), a A$500 million middle-market private equity fund. He led a team of 30 investment professionals located in 6 offices across Australia and New Zealand. At the time of his departure to join HFAA, the ANZ portfolio consisted of almost 50 investments. Prior to joining ANZ, Mr. Steele worked in the Melbourne office of National Australia Bank establishing a middle-market leverage finance business. This followed his eight years’ experience in Europe working in a variety of investment banking roles. Mr. Steele holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Adelaide and a Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance and Investment from the Securities Institute of Australia and was awarded a Future Leader Award at the 2007 Australia Future Summit. Mr. Steele was HMC’s representative Director on the board of Emeis Holdings (owner of Aesop), and also sits on the boards of FastTrack and Cardioscan.

Joshua J. Casey

Joshua Casey

Mr. Casey joined HMC in 2012. Prior to joining Harbert, Joshua worked in the advisory division at Gresham Investment House, working on a range of merger and acquisition and strategic assignments on behalf of listed and private clients. Earlier, Joshua worked in the mergers and acquisitions and restructuring services areas of PricewaterhouseCoopers. In these roles he advised both corporate and private equity clients on a range of assignments and transactions across a broad range of industry sectors.

He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne and a Masters of Applied Finance at Macquarie University.

Investment Criteria

Focused on:

  • Lower, mid market, quality and privately held companies
  • Victoria and South Australia (over 26,000 companies in this market)
  • Enterprise value of A$10 million to A$50 million
  • EBITDA of between A$2 million and A$10 million
  • Relatively strong positive cash flows

Harbert Australian Private Equity Fund I


Owner of Aesop – Body, Skin and Hair Care Beauty Products

Since 1987, when the company launched in Melbourne, Aesop has not wavered from its intention to create a range of superlative products for skin, hair and body. Committed to including the highest-quality plant-based ingredients, Aesop also makes judicious use of non-botanical elements such as anti-oxidants. The products are available in leading department stores, own-branded stores and wholesalers around the world.  Harbert exited its investment in February 2013 when the business was sold to Natura Cosmetics SA, an $11 billion Brazilian cosmetics company, generating a gross 5.4x MoM, 68% IRR return for the Fund.


Integrated Software Solutions

In May 2012, HAPE I acquired a majority stake in FastTrack, a leading provider of integrated software solutions to the Australian and New Zealand labor hire industry. FastTrack’s software is a fully integrated end to end solutions from applicant tracking right through to payroll and billing. The software is functional worldwide, however FastTrack’s focus to date has primarily been on Australia with a view to expand into South East Asia.  Worldwide, the labor industry is known to be highly competitive and low margin; as such, FastTrack’s software solution is a valuable tool in helping labor hire companies lower opex and preserve profitability whilst at the same time streamlining their processes.


cardioscan CARDIOSCAN
Australia’s leading cardiac reporting service

Cardioscan was established in 1984 and is one of the oldest cardiovascular and respiratory monitoring service providers in Australia.  The company supplies cardiac testing equipment and monitoring services to large Australian pathology labs and hospital networks.  The company also analyses cardiac data and returns test results to clients within 2 – 4 hours compared to the 2 week turnaround for public hospitals.