Frontier Expands For Private Equity Shop Leopard Capital

Jan 20 2010 | 11:21am ET

Frontier market private equity firm Leopard Capital is planning a pair of new funds focused on Sri Lanka.

The island nation south of India has gotten a good deal more press recently as the birthplace of Galleon Group founder and alleged insider-trader Raj Rajaratnam. But it is also a country rebuilding following a decades-long civil war.

Leopard’s Sri Lanka Fund aims to participate in that rebuilding, investing in tourism, consumer goods, seafood processing, agriculture and manufacturing, the firm said. The fund will take minority positions in unlisted companies in Sri Lanka. Fundraising is to begin this quarter, and the fund is expected to launch on April 1. The Sri Lanka Fund has a US$100 million fundraising target and a 10-year lifespan.

Leopard also plans to deploy its money in Sri Lanka’s public markets with the open-end Sri Lanka Value Fund. That vehicle, which has a fundraising target of US$30 million, will invest in undervalued companies listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange. It is set to debut on Feb. 1.

Both new funds are managed by Leopard’s Colombo-based Sri Lankan affiliate, headed by Nirosh De Silva, Ramanan Govindsamy, Douglas Clayton, Kenneth Stevens and Thomas Hugger.

Leopard also announced a final closing for its two-year-old Cambodia Fund. The firm raised more than US$34 million for the vehicle from over 100 investors, it said. The Cambodia Fund has already deployed some 40% of its capital in five investments.

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