Sri Lanka's boutique investment bank Frontier Capital Ltd is eyeing a controlling stake in People's Merchant Finance PLC due to its attraction in a land holding coupled with the investment potential.
"We already have purchased a 2% equity stake in People's Merchant Bank and we are hoping to increase stake further so that we will get the control of the company, Frontier Capital CEO Nishan Sumanadheera told Ceylon FT late Friday night.
The current shareholding of People's Merchant Finance PLC is People's Bank - 26.13 %, People's Leasing -13.07%, Capital Trust Holdings PLC ( 9.41% + 6.15% + 4.65%) Deut she Bank- 9.9%, CEO Ramanan Govindasamy- 9.61 % and Lakshman Fonseka -9.70%
This is indeed a very valuable asset and the reason why we are wanting to get the controlling stake is due to the 108 perches of land which the company has at Nawam Mawatha with around Rs 1.5B which has not been made use of and which could be developed into a prime property project, Sumanadheera said.
He also expressed confidence of purchasing the Capital Trust Holdings PLC stake in People's Merchant Finance PLC.
Meanwhile, Capital Trust Holdings PLC Managing Director Thushan Wickremesinghe, when contacted, said that he will divest the Capital Trust stake, but only if was at the right price. He also said that there was immense public confidence in the company due to People's Bank and People's Leasing having shares which was reflected in the company attracting deposits.
Sumanadheera also added that he has a Hong Kong based partner who will buy the controlling interest of the company and a Singaporean based property developer who will add value to the Nawam Mawatha property which will realize its full value.
"This is a property whose value could be increased to over Rs 5 Billion and we are confident of reaping at least 10% return per annum on the investment," Sumanadheera said.
He also asserted that the company had a huge goodwill and the brand name from People's Bank and People's Leasing which should be of advantageous as well and that the real challenge was to turn the company into a profit making venture and a super rich stock in the market.
Courtesy: Ceylon Financialo Times 08 June 2015