Focus: Private businesses with a history of consistent profitability and free cash flow generation; able to grow without requiring significant capital
Size: Lower mid-market, typically $4m - $8m EBIT
Pricing: Priced to provide our investors with an attractive dividend yield, therefore usually 5x - 7x EBIT
Type: 100% acquisition or a controlling shareholding alongside management or founder shareholders
Exclusions: Turnarounds, start-ups, primary agriculture, property
Merchant Place has principals based in Sydney and in Brisbane.
Nick Batchelor BA (Pennsylvania), MBA (Columbia), GAICD
Nick co-founded Merchant Place Investments after 18 years in the private equity industry. During this time he led investments ranging from small technology start-ups to large corporate buyouts. He has held leadership positions at a number of Australia's most successful investment firms including Quadrant Private Equity and RMB Capital Partners.
Prior to entering the investment industry, Nick was a Principal with The Boston Consulting Group where he advised corporate clients on strategy development, operational improvement and M&A. His career began with sales and marketing roles. He led an account management team at Einstein & Sandom Interactive, which is generally regarded as the world's first online marketing agency, and helped launch the blockbuster anti-depressant Prozac as a sales representative with Eli Lilly & Company, a global pharmaceutical group.
Nick has served as a board director or chairman of over 20 companies. Recent examples include Device Technologies (medical equipment), Coverforce (insurance), Seafolly (swimwear) and Superior Foods (food service).
Nick Mole BCom (Hons I), BEcon (UQ), MBA (INSEAD)
Nick co-founded Merchant Place Investments after a career spanning investment banking, management consulting, private equity, senior management roles, and principal investing.
Nick has worked with global professional services firms (J.P. Morgan, Bain & Company) and in operational senior management roles (RuleBurst, a software company acquired by Oracle). He has helped establish a number of businesses (Arowana Capital, Trade Glass Depot), and has considerable experience buying into and operating small and medium-sized businesses.
Nick has held more than 20 executive and non-executive directorships, and is a trusted advisor to a number of family-owned businesses and family offices.
Tom Mould AO BEd, Grad Dip AICD, JP
Tom is a co-founder of Merchant Place Investments with more than 35 years of leadership and management experience in both the public and private sectors in Australia and China.
Tom has held a wide range of senior roles in Australian public education, including serving as Assistant Director General for education in Queensland. After leaving the public sector, he concentrated on the development of private sector"for profit" schools in Australia and China.
He was a Director and Chief Executive Officer of Independent Colleges Australia, inaugural Chairman of Wuxi International Childcare in China (the first collaboration between the Chinese Government and the private sector in education services), and he founded Education and Learning Services Australia which provided shared services to over 400 clients throughout Australia and China.
Tom is an executive director of the Trade Glass Depot Group, non-executive director of the Advisory Board of the Misso Group of companies, and a national board director, company secretary and honorary treasurer of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards in Australia
In 2019, Tom was appointed Officer in the Order of Australia in recognition of a distinguished career as a Queensland public servant, businessman and board member of charitable works.