Aureos invests $5m in Kyrgyz TV network

The firm has backed a television, telephone and high-speed internet operator in its second investment from the Aureos Central Asia Fund, a vehicle launched last year that has raised $60m and is targeting $100m.

Emerging markets-focused private equity firm Aureos Capital has invested $5 million (€3.7 million) in Ala TV, a Kyrgyz television network.

Ala TV is a cable television operator that offers television, telephone and high-speed internet, all over one broadband connection. It operates mainly in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan’s capital.

Cable TV is still in its nascent stages in Kyrgyzstan where only 25 percent of households have cable. This presents an opportunity for Ala TV to grow and to establish itself as the dominant operator in the region, Yelena Yunussova, an Aureos partner, said in a statement.

The investment was made out of the Aureos Central Asian Fund, which was launched in spring 2007 and is seeking a final close on approximately $100 million. It held a first close on $50 million later that year, $10 million of which came from Kazyna Capital Management, a Kazakhstan government-backed fund of funds firm.

Aureos has raised $60 million for the fund so far, with another $10 million in commitments received but not yet finalised, a source familiar with the fund told PEO in September.

The fund will commit 70 percent of its capital to Kazakhstan, with the remainder dedicated to opportunities in the Kyrgyz Republic, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

In September, Aureos invested $10 million out of its Central Asian fund for a controlling stake in Leasing Group, a Kazakhstani equipment leasing company. In the same month, Aureos’ Kula Fund II made its first investment in Tonga, when it acquired a 30 percent stake in Pacific Retail, a Tongan retailing company for 1.6 million Tongan Pa’anga ($766,000; €564,000).

In August, the firm’s South Asia Fund acquired a 25 percent stake in Sri Lankan conglomerate Sunshine Group for $4.75 million, marking a significant transaction in a country that is still largely uncharted territory for private equity capital.

Since its founding in 2001, Aureos has established 16 regional private equity funds which cover more than 50 emerging markets in Asia, Africa and Latin America.