Olympus Capital Asia acquires 25% stake in Thai Credit Retail Bank for $91m

Private equity firm Olympus Capital Asia has led a consortium to acquire a 25 per cent stake of microfinance company Thai Credit Retail Bank in a $91-million transaction.

The total consideration includes a deferred portion depending on the future performance of the Thai company, the fund manager said in a Wednesday statement.

As a result of this investment, the consortium will become the Thai Credit’s largest external investor. Olympus Capital will also send nominees to the company’s board of directors.

The firm said it purchased the stake from Polaris Capital, an affiliate of Singapore-based PE firm Northstar Group.

Thai Credit was set up in 1970 and obtained a retail banking licence in 2006, having a total loan book of over $1.5 billion. It provides microfinance loans and other financial services to customers with limited access to bank credit, such as small businesses, vendors, traders, food stall owners, and other self-employed individuals.

The company said it will launch e-wallet services in second half of 2019, with additional digital products in the pipeline.

“Thai Credit has successfully and profitably addressed the challenge of providing banking services to the underbanked population in Thailand, and has built a differentiated business,” said Olympus Capital managing director and co-head of the financial services group Gaurav Malik.

Olympus Capital founding managing director Daniel Mintz added: “We believe there are significant opportunities for the company to strengthen its market position, especially through expansion of product offerings, rapid digitization and use of data and analytics to improve the customer experience as well as streamline processes and systems.”

Olympus Capital Asia has invested more than $2.5 billion in private equity and private debt capital across over 65 portfolio companies throughout Asia, with financial services comprising approximately one-third of its investments.

Last year, the fund manager helped its portfolio company, CreditAccess, to list its Indian business on the local stock exchange. Its past investments include India’s HDFC Bank, Korea’s Orix Savings Bank, China’s Zhongtai Specialty Financing, Asia Project Holdings, and Asurison Asia Pacific.

“We have built a remarkable and differentiated business over the last few years and expect to accelerate further with Olympus Capital’s investment. Given Olympus’ experience in microfinance and financial services in general, there are multiple areas where we can work with our new investor to strengthen our business, especially in our digitization initiatives,” said Roy Agustinus Gunara, managing director at Thai Credit.