Leopard Capital: Sri Lankan returns to outperform

The frontier markets-focused firm will open an office in Colombo and raise up to $100m to invest in what it believes will be Asia's fastest growing economy.

Hong Kong-based private equity firm Leopard Capital will in November begin fundraising for its first Sri Lanka-focused private equity fund.

It aims to raise between $50 million and $100 million for investments in sectors including tourism, healthcare, retail, processed food, property development, financial services, and power infrastructure, general partner Nirosh De Silva told sister news site PEI Asia. It will target family businesses ready for expansion, making growth investments and backing management buyouts.

With the war ending and violence clearly behind us, Sri Lanka will emerge as Asia’s fastest growing economy.

Ramanan Govindasamy

Ramanan Govindasamy, the fund’s other general partner, said the separatist war that plagued the Sri Lanka over the last three decades has seriously hindered economic progress. “With the war ending and violence clearly behind us, Sri Lanka will emerge as Asia’s fastest growing economy,” he said. He predicted that investment opportunities in the country will outperform “most emerging economies in terms of investor returns”.

Leopard will establish an office in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo by November.

The firm currently manages a fund focused on investments in Cambodia. In August, it reopened fundraising for the vehicle, which had held a final close on $27.2 million in April.

The fund had been targeting commitments of $100 million, but the firm initially stopped fundraising in April as it had intended to raise money for only one year and chose to abide by its self-imposed deadline. However, increased interest from investors saw the firm resume fundraising. That fund has raised commitments of $28.7 million so far.

Other private equity firms investing in Sri Lanka include Singapore-headquartered Calamander Capital, which is currently in the market for a Sri Lanka-focused private equity fund targeting commitments of between $100 million and $150 million, and Aureos Capital, which invests in Sri Lanka from its $122 million South Asia Fund that also invests in India and Bangladesh.