The $12 billion Sunsuper has struck a deal to co-invest on an ongoing basis with Macquarie Bank.

The multi-industry fund has allocated an initial $150 million mandate to the Macquarie Special Situations Fund to access private equity and investment banking transactions worldwide. “We are investing alongside the Macquarie balance sheet,”; David Hartley, Sunsuper chief investment officer, said. The mandate would be invested in numerous transactions – wherever Macquarie “finds opportunities around the world” – and was appealing since it would not be confined to any asset class, Hartley said. These investments must not be strategic stakeholdings but “returns-focused”. The fund has also partnered with investment firm The Sentient Group to buy 11.8 per cent of Australian geothermal energy company Geodynamics, a transaction that would see the duo become cornerstone investors in the company. The acquisition will proceed pending a vote among Geodynamics shareholders later this month. If the deal is approved, Sunsuper and Sentient will buy 25 million shares at $1.50 each and will gain 12.5 million placement options that can be exercised at $2 until February 29, 2009. The co-investors will also be able to appoint a non-executive director to the Geodynamics board. The Sentient Group was founded by Peter Cassidy, formerly an AMP Financial Planning executive, in 2000. According to a biography of Cassidy on the Spectrax website, an IT and ‘mobility solutions’ software firm of which he is chairman, Sentient manages the $168 million Global Resources Fund and the private assets of the Qantas Superannuation Plan.

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