Ascent Capital gathers over $80m for debut Myanmar growth fund

Lim Chong Chong, founder and managing partner of Ascent Capital Partners.

Myanmar-focused private equity firm Ascent Capital Partners, which made its debut this week with an investment in internet service provider Frontiir, has collected over $80 million for its debut fund, a top executive told DealStreetAsia.

The firm has not yet closed the fundraising for its Ascent Myanmar Growth Fund I (AMGF), which was earlier said to a chase a target of up to $100 million.

Ascent Capital founder and managing partner Chong Chong Lim said the first priority is to “deploy capital,” adding the current dry powder was sufficient to meet the firm’s investment plans.

Anchor investors in AMGF include Myanmar’s Aung Moe Kyaw, the founder and co-chairman of Myanmar Distillery; Singapore’s Tony Chew, the co-founder of MDC Group and chairman of Asia Resource Corporation; and JG Summit Holdings from the Philippines. Other limited partners (LPs) include Singapore’s state investment firm Temasek Holdings and the Asian Development Bank.

“It is very important for us to have the confidence of reputed institutional investors,” Lim said. “Temasek is a very long-term investor, and that is important because Myanmar needs patient investors.”

It was challenging as a first-time fundraiser, Lim acknowledged. However, to him, the Myanmar market itself is a value proposition for the fund.

“The main investment thesis for Myanmar is significant growth potential over the mid to long term. That growth story remains unchanged,” he said.

Edited excerpts from an interview with Lim:-

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