☕️ Regal rides a wave

Phil King’s fund is defying scepticism in the private credit boom

Good morning.

Phil King's Regal Partners is diving into the booming private credit sector, ignoring Jamie Dimon and meme mockery to snap up Merricks Capital for $235m.

Merricks, managing $2.9b in loans, adds a hefty chunk to Regal's assets, pushing its total up to $15.1b. Hot on the heels of HMC Capital's $127.5m acquisition of Payton Capital last month, the bet shows Aussie fund managers are ignoring the scepticism in some quarters.

When quizzed about a potential bubble in private credit, CEO Brendan O’Connor told Capital Brief that regulatory and ESG constraints are actually fuelling a rock-solid non-bank sector, not blowing up a bubble. Looks like memes won't be enough to halt this momentum!

ASX as at market close. Commodities and crypto in USD.

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Market movers

In a jewellery world twist that reads like a retail soap opera, Lovisa's shares took a nosedive of 10.4%, closing at $30.40. The reason? John Cheston, the Smiggle boss, is jumping ship to take the helm of the jewellery retailer , replacing the high-flying Victor Herrero.

Brett Blundy’s raid on Solomon Lew’s team has caused quite the market stir, with Premier Investments – which owns Smiggle - also dipping 4.1%. The pay drop for Cheston from Herrero's eye-watering $30m to a mere $2.35m (plus bonuses) raised eyebrows. Lovisa’s stock market dance is on, with analysts and investors bracing for the next move in the retail drama.

The quick sync

  • The VGI Partners founder breakup underscores the risks when personal conflicts can destabilize even the most successful investing firms. (Capital Brief)

  • Qatar Airways confirmed its interest in acquiring a stake in Bain’s Virgin Australia, amidst a renewed push for additional flight rights to Australia. (The Australian)

  • Tesla chairwoman Robyn Denholm and National Basketball League owner Larry Kestelman are among several bidders vying for partial ownership of Australia's women’s basketball league. (AFR)

  • Hostplus, HESTA, CSL, and the Queensland Investment Commission have invested $270m into a new fund for Australia’s largest life science investment firm, Brandon Capital. (AFR)

  • Australia has an AI shortage of talent forcing companies to increasingly hire developers from countries like Brazil, India, and Argentina. (Capital Brief)


  • Generation Development Group (GDG) will acquire the remaining shares of investment research and consultancy Lonsec for $197.4m. (Capital Brief)

  • DIF Capital Partners is auctioning $1b in Australian solar and wind assets due to an upcoming redemption deadline. (AFR)

  • APM Human Services has recommended its shareholders accept a $1.3b takeover offer from its largest shareholder, Madison Dearborn Partners. (Capital Brief)

  • Crescent Capital is in advanced talks to buy Quantum Radiology from The Growth Fund for $200m. (AFR)

  • Regal Partners is set to fully acquire Merricks Capital, boosting its AUM by 24% to $15.1b. (Capital Brief)

  • Approval for Lendlease's sale of 12 communities to Stockland and Supalai is delayed to July 4th. (Capital Brief)

  • UBS is running the sale process of Loscam, a company attracting interest from major investment firms like Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Brookfield. (The Australian)

  • Billionaire Gina Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting increased its stake in Vulcan Energy Resources to 7.5% as part of a €40m ($65.2m) funding round to advance Vulcan's lithium project in Germany. (AFR)

Capital Markets

  • Guzman y Gomez held talks about selling a stake to Blackstone before confirming plans to IPO. (AFR)

  • BCAL Diagnostics raised $10.5m in an oversubscribed round, initially seeking $5m. (AFR)

  • Immutep is raising $102m through a fully underwritten institutional placement and an entitlement offer at 38¢ per share, a 15.6% discount to the last close. (AFR)

  • Wilsons analysts expect Nick Scali's share price to rise significantly once its products and brand are recognised globally. (The Australian)

  • Genetic Signatures, a molecular diagnostics biotech backed by Chris Abbott, has raised $30m. (AFR)

  • Iondrive has raised $2m to advance its sustainable lithium-ion battery recycling technology, supported by new and existing shareholders. (BNA)


  • Jekara and Tidal Ventures, investment firms, are increasing their focus on Queensland tech startups looking for the next big thing in energy and AI/software. (AFR)

People moves

  • Lovisa Holdings has appointed long-time Smiggle boss John Cheston as its new CEO. (Capital Brief)

  • Paul Giles, a divisional CEO at Iress, has left the company after being added to the leadership team a year ago. (AFR)

  • Booktopia Group is cutting at least 50 jobs and has announced the immediate resignation of CEO David Nenke after just 12 months. (BNA)

  • Woodside Energy appointed Tony O'Neill, a sustainability expert from the mining industry, to its board of directors. (Capital Brief)

☝️ Know about a deal or people move we don’t? Hit reply.

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