Palm Beach County, Florida USA and Wellington NZ: 30 June 2011
Endeavour Capital, one of New Zealand’s leading private equity and venture capital companies, today signed a $20 million cash investment partnership in Florida, USA.
“This is a New Zealand first,” says Endeavour’s executive chairman, Neville Jordan. “It is a strategic partnering with a State government authority to accelerate the export growth of New Zealand products and services in which we have either invested or will invest in.”
It is a two-way deal that will also allow collaboration and fostering of new and interesting US intellectual property, to be further developed in New Zealand. This will be through research placed with entities such as WaikatoLink and the national commercialisation network KiwiNet, the latter formed from New Zealand’s Universities and CRIs including IRL and AgResearch.”
There is the probability of an immediate cross-fertilisation of research innovation through the involvement of Industrial Research Ltd with the new United States initiative.
“We are closely examining the possibility that IRL has a presence as part of Endeavour’s Florida regional office,” says IRL chief executive, Shaun Coffey.
“Establishing ourselves alongside Endeavour in the North American market is a logical continuation of our more outward-facing intention to help New Zealand manufacturing and businesses make more money.”
Neville Jordan says the notion that excellent New Zealand ideas can best be taken to the world by pushing them out from a tiny corner of the south-west Pacific is always going to represent a substantial struggle. “The best way to generate foreign exchange from our products and services is to be partnered and embedded in offshore target markets,” he says.
“We have positioned ourselves alongside the Florida State government which is looking for exactly the type of innovative companies that Endeavour represents. This gives us a well-funded staging post literally in the backyard of the fastest growing state, in the world’s most sophisticated market.”
Florida has also attracted a number of highly prestigious institutions to set up in the state, all of which are based near Endeavour’s upcoming office. The Johns Hopkins University, Scripps Institute, and Germany’s Max Planck Institute are all handily located.
For some of Endeavour’s New Zealand investments, for example, in non invasive diabetes detection, water efficiency systems, anti-cancer compounds and advanced manufacturing and ICT systems, the ability to engage with such world-leading research and development teams will be invaluable says Jordan.
“While we proudly remain a New Zealand company, we give ourselves and our portfolio companies the best chance of gaining critical mass and market penetration by also being in the USA.” The new regional office of Endeavour will be managed by Dr George Steinfels.
Jordan says the partnership deal continues the coherent strategy embarked upon some two years ago – to position on the international stage, a New Zealand company specialising in sustainable investment.
In May 2011 a $120 million investment partnership was established between China’s Wuhan venture capital company, HUSTVC, and Endeavour Capital. The partnership provides for a joint 50:50 investment into companies, including New Zealand businesses, which need additional equity to achieve scale in world markets.
In April this year, Endeavour also signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia’s King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, for collaborative research projects within Endeavour’s investment portfolio. A first large-scale alliance covering products and systems for forensics, clinical diagnostics and food security has already commenced.
“We now have three fast-growing and strategic markets covered; the Middle East, China, and the USA, with a UK/Europe initiative to be announced shortly,” says Jordan. “The ability for our innovative Kiwi companies to generate enduring foreign exchange is greatly enhanced by these developments.”