The US-based The Carlyle Group, which specialises in private equity, pointed out it will enter the Sri Lankan market if companies are capable of fulfilling its criteria.
“We would like to invest in Sri Lanka. It is not that we have shied away from it. It’s just that we have criteria to fulfil from our side. The current size of our Asia fund is about $ 20 billion, so we look for entities which match our investment criteria,” said The Carlyle Group Indonesia Managing Director Rajiv Louis yesterday during a panel discussion at a symposium hosted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The senior official, visiting Sri Lanka on an invitation extended by the SEC to address its symposium on ‘The Role of Independent Directors’, shared as an example that before entering a market the global company require entities to have a minimum investment of $ 150 million for a stake of 10%.
“We look at the size, and there are not many companies of that size in Sri Lanka,” he emphasised at the event that was addressed by SEC Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa, SEC Director Corporate Affairs Harshana Sur-iyapperuma, President’s Counsel Dr. Harsha Cabral and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Chief Regulatory Officer Nehal Vora.
However, Louis noted that The Carlyle Group is looking at investing in Sri Lanka and is taking active steps towards it.
Hinting a possible visit from its heads to Sri Lanka in the future, Louis said: “The overall outlook we have for Sri Lanka is positive. But the only challenge is the minimum requirement from our end where we require the criteria to be met.”
To increase foreign investor participation, the SEC shared that it has and continues to reach out to large investment funds to look at local market and one such initiative is The Carlyle Group.
The SEC told the Daily FT that having reached out to the group, whose private equity business has been one of the largest investors in leveraged buyout transactions over the last decade; its response has so far been a positive one.
Founded in 1987 in Washington DC, The Carlyle Group has grown to become one of the world’s largest and most successful investment firms.
The Group has $ 199 billion in assets under management across 120 funds and 133 fund vehicles. In Asia-Pacific alone, The Carlyle Group has invested $ 20 billion, which is approximately the entire market capitalisation of the CSE.