PE group Whiteoak engineers two investments in one deal

Benchmark Estimating Software, a SaaS product, was developed out of MIEngineers and is now used by more than 220 government and private clients globally. Together, the two companies have about 80 staff.

Barden said Whiteoak liked the two companies’ industry tailwinds, with big infrastructure construction pipelines in Australia and internationally, and particularly in the United States.

He said Whiteoak would look to add more people to both businesses, and would seek to turn MIEngineers from a niche player in Australian and UK roads into a broader group servicing a wider range of infrastructure projects and geographies.

Amy-Ruth MacDonald, of the MacDonald family, would continue to run MIEngineers, while the software business is run by Sydney-based Frank Prestipino, he said.

Corrs, KPMG and PwC advised Whiteoak, while the MacDonald family had Allunga Advisory, McCabes and KPMG in their corner.

It’s Whiteoak’s fourth and fifth investments from the firm’s $125 million first fund, which was picked up in a fundraising that closed in February.

The firm was set up by a group of former McKinsey & Co consultants and targets investments in software, healthcare, business services and consumer sectors. It has deployed about half of Fund I, Barden told Street Talk.