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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » DAILY CHRONICLE™ » Private equity opportunities few, says Guardian Capital

Private equity opportunities few, says Guardian Capital

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Redbulls

Redbulls
Director - Equity Analytics
Director - Equity Analytics
Guardian Capital Partners PLC (previously Watapota Investments), a member of the Carsons group holding an investment portfolio specializing in private equity, has seen mixed results in the first half of the current financial year ending September 30, 2012 according to an interim report now with shareholders.

Guardian Fund Management Limited, investment managers of Guardian Capital Partners (GCP) has said that GCP had posted an accounting profit of Rs.9.1 million and a total comprehensive income of Rs.27.9 million during the six months under review against an accounting profit of Rs.6 million and a comprehensive loss of Rs.80.4 million a year earlier.

"The improvement in the accounting profit was primarily due to an 80% growth in revenue. This in turn was due to sale of shares during the six months, which accounted for 53% of the revenue recorded during the quarter, and generated capital gains of Rs.8.9 million. The balance income was from interest and dividend income," the managers said.

They explained that "comprehensive income" captures the change in the market value of the long-term holdings of GCP where a net gain of Rs.18.8 million had been recorded.

Expolanka Holdings Limited had appreciated from Rs.6.20 to Rs.7.70 per share during the six months generating a gain of Rs.52 million offset by a Rs.39 million loss on Access, which declined from Rs.26 to Rs.21.80.

GCP had also seen a Rs.6.1 million impairment loss on Textured Jersey Lanka PLC being reversed as the share price recovered from Rs.7.20 to Rs.9.80.

The period under review had seen the sale of shares generating Rs.42 million with part of this utilized to settle a bank overdraft of Rs.16.4 million. A sum of approximately Rs.30 million was now available for deployment.

The managers said that private equity project flow for the first half of the year was virtually non-existent. They reported two or three possibilities "which barely met our investment criteria."

"We are on the constant look out for new promising opportunities to commit capital to. We still expect to see an improvement in the deal flow in the second half of the year, but expect this to be very marginal," the managers said.

They said the uncertainty seen in market and macroeconomic conditions in the last quarter had reduced to a certain extent "but the possibility of strong rebound is yet quite low."

GCP with total assets of Rs.539.1 million and total liabilities of Rs.5.5 million has a stated capital of Rs.513.6 million and revenue reserves of Rs.20 million in its books.

Ceylon Guardian Investment Trust PLC, the major share investment vehicle of the Carsons group with 83.97% of GCP is the dominant shareholder with Lake View Investments (2.53%) and Carsons owning 2.25%. The public share holding as at September 30, 2012 was 13.77%.

The GCP share traded at a high of Rs.77 and a low of Rs.42.50 during the September quarter. Its net assets per share stood at Rs.20.66 as September 30, 2012, down from Rs.29.34 a year earlier.

The major holdings of the company are three quoted companies, Access Engineering PLC, Expolanka PLC and Textured Jersey PLC valued at Rs.468 million and one unquoted company, hSenid Business Solutions, valued at Rs.40 million.
http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=68829

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