Navis acquires Malaysian optical chain

Navis Capital Partners has made the first investment from its recently formed $150m Islamic private equity fund.

Navis Capital Partners, the private equity firm based in Kuala Lumpur, has completed the first investment from its latest fund.  

The $150m CIMB Muamalat Fund, which offers investors the chance to invest in accordance with Islamic Shari'ah principles, has acquired 60 eyewear retail shops across Asia, the bulk of which are based in Malaysia.

According to Nicholas Bloy, founding partner at Navis, the investment, of which 80 per cent has been provided by Navis, with the remainder coming from a European trade buyer, will involved a further $50m in acquisitions across Asia and the Middle East and new store openings over the next four years.

Speaking about the CIMB Muamalat Fund (CMF), Bloy said there were a number of opportunities available: “We have a couple of other deals in the pipeline which we will announce over the summer, but this first one looks very promising.” The fund, which is being raised alongside the Navis III fund, is expected to announce final closing in October.

IslamiQ, the specialised financial services provider and authority on Islamic investment services, completed the Shari’ah advisory and structuring of the fund in March. CMF's Shari'ah board, which is set up to develop rules and practices relating to Islamic financial products and services that are in accordance with Islamic principles, comprises a combination of Middle Eastern and Asian scholars.

Navis has an investment strategy of taking control of industry leaders in well-established industries such as consumer goods, food processing, retail/distribution and building materials. Navis investors include pension funds, banks, insurance companies and other institutions from Europe, Asia, US and the Middle East.