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Denham Capital to open office in Perth, Australia

Denham Capital, an energy and resources-focused global private equity firm, is to open an office in Perth, Australia, one of the world’s main hubs for metals and minerals activity.

The new office will open in February 2013 and be led by Bert Koth, director of Denham Capital’s metals and minerals team who will be relocating from the firm’s London office.

In addition to pursuing metals and minerals investments in Australia and the Asia Pacific region, the office will also seek opportunities in Denham Capital’s other two core sectors: power and renewables and oil and gas.

“While Perth and Australia are rightfully thought of as global centres for metals and minerals, investment opportunities in the country and Asia Pacific region in all three of our core sectors are abundant,” says Koth. “For instance, while the European debt crisis and a softened outlook in China have damaged the traditional capital markets based funding model for junior mining companies and created a funding void for private equity to fill, there are also meaningful onshore natural gas shale resources in Australia that will require capital, and this is an area in which Denham has been very active in the US. In addition, the climate for deals within the power and renewables sector in the region is equally compelling.”

Denham Capital is currently working with two portfolio companies in the Asia Pacific region: Trans-Tasman Resources (TTR) and GNPower. Wellington, New Zealand based TTR explores and develops deposits of iron sands off the North Island of New Zealand while GNPower, based in Manila, developed and is constructing a 600 megawatt project in the Philippines.

Another Denham Capital portfolio company, international solar development team Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), has significant activities and a team on the ground in Australia. The company has fully developed more than 350 megawatts of solar projects and raised more than USD1.75bn of financing. In September, FRV was awarded a 20 megawatt Power Purchase Agreement with the Australian Capital Territory and has other projects under active development currently.

Joining Koth and working with him directly in Perth will be Spencer Soh, an associate with more than six years of experience. Soh will be relocating from the Denham Capital Singapore office, which was closed as part of the process of relocating the firm’s Asia Pacific regional operation to Perth in late September.

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