International Finance Corporation (IFC) has approved a total commitment of $50 million to Kuala Lumpur-headquartered Navis Capital Partners’s new $150-million fund that is slated to invest in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV).
Last October, the development finance institution had disclosed that it was mulling a proposal to invest up to $25 million in the fund.
IFC has yet to respond to DealStreetAsia’s query on the higher commitment. Navis declined to comment.
The vehicle, Navis CLMV Co-Investment Fund, will look at buyout deals in CLMV countries and will co-invest alongside Navis Asia Fund VIII and its parallel funds, IFC said in the latest disclosure.
While investor risk appetite remains high in developing countries, IFC hopes its investment in Navis Capital’s CLMV-dedicated fund will “send a signal of confidence to international and domestic LPs looking to enter the most frontier markets”.
The fund is expected to back six to eight mid-cap companies, including the larger end of the mid-cap segment, especially those in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, where access to private equity or traditional sources of capital is “extremely limited,” according to IFC.
Navis, which currently manages assets worth $5 billion, has picked up controlling stakes in over 80 transactions across Asia, primarily in Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam.
The firm’s portfolio companies include scaffolding and construction equipment solutions provider Dscaff and educational resources supplier Modern Star in Malaysia, Indonesian medical equipment distributor PT Tawada Healthcare, and Thanh Thanh Cong Education and jeans supplier Saitex Holdings in Vietnam, among others.
In July last year, Navis acquired a Cambodia-based company – CIA FIRST International School.