London Stock Exchange-listed Myanmar Strategic Holdings, an independent developer and operator of consumer-focused businesses in the frontier market, has announced the acquisition of EXERA, a Yangon-based safety and security services provider, for $2.2 million.
The acquisition was conducted through Myanmar Strategic Services Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Myanmar Strategic Holdings.
EXERA comprises Exera Myanmar Limited and Exera Journey Management Limited, both led by CEO Geoffrey Stewart Hamilton.
Myanmar Strategic will pay $2 million in cash and the remaining through an issue of 7,408 new ordinary shares at a price of $27 per share.
“The board believes that this acquisition demonstrates our objective not only to expand into strategically important sectors in Myanmar, but also to act as a source of responsible investment into the country,” said Enrico Cesenni, CEO of Myanmar Strategic Holdings.
Apart from security services, EXERA also seeks to develop cash management capabilities across Myanmar by working with established conglomerates, banks and relevant institutions.
“While mobile payment systems will flourish over time, cash will continue to play a key role in the development of Myanmar’s economy, and EXERA can play a key role in its efficient circulation and allocation,” said Hamilton, CEO of EXERA Myanmar.
Founded in 2012, EXERA has been led by Hamilton, who has served the Royal Canadian Navy, since 2015.
The firm provides services such as protection, secure transportation, training and risk services. It has over 1000 guards and employees on rolls. Its clients include WFP, UNHCR, UNICEF and the EU.
As of the end of March, EXERA recorded unaudited revenue of $4 million.
Myanmar Strategic Holdings’ other investments in the country include Ostello Bello, a premium hostel, and franchise rights for Wall Street English in the country. It made its debut on the LSE in mid-2017 making a gross subscription of $4 million.
Following the listing, it struck a joint venture with Auston Institute of Management for setting up a new private school in Yangon and it recently made a $150,000 minority strategic investment in Myanmar’s digital consulting firm nexlabs.