Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Leopard Capital takes major MFI stake

Leopard Capital takes major MFI stake

Leopard Capital takes major MFI stake

PRIVATE equity fund Leopard Capital acquired a 33.7 percent stake in microfinance institution Intean Poalroath Rongroeurng Ltd for an undisclosed amount yesterday.

Leopard Chief Executive Douglas Clayton said the amount was “not a huge investment” for the US$34 million fund.

“We target 10 percent of our fund into each investment. but the investments so far before this one ranged from $1.3 million to $5 million – this is in the lower half of the spectrum,” he said.

IPR Chief Executive Hort Bun Song said securing Leopard as a shareholder was a gateway to further funding.

“I hope by getting Leopard Capital to join with us, we can access more funds from international funders so we have the opportunity to expand and build better systems,” he said, adding that negotiations had been ongoing since early last year.

Leopard would take an active role in the company, joining six others on IPR’s board, including founder and chairman Phou Puy, Hort Bun Song said.

Phou Puy, entrepreneur and chairman of the Federation of Cambodian Rice Millers was IPR’s sole owner before this deal. He founded IPR in 2005 in response to capital constraints faced by the Federation, according to a statement released by Leopard yesterday.

Hort Bun Song said IPR has more than 3,000 customers today – mainly small businesses in rice production, but with a growing base of ventures in other agricultural sectors.

Clayton said the latest investment meant Leopard’s flagship Cambodia fund was almost 75 percent fully-invested, and added the fund was not likely to invest in another financial institution.

“I think that’s it for this industry. We now have [ACLEDA Bank] as well as the MFI, so I think if anything we’d put more money into what we have but not take another one,” he said.

Leopard is a small shareholder in ACLEDA, investing $3 million last year in the former MFI, Clayton said. He agreed the stake in the bank had helped with the decision to invest in IPR.

“I think through ACLEDA we recognised that rural finance can be a profitable industry,” he said. “But this is in a different segment of the market – IPR is very small loans.”

IPR made a profit of 1.19 billion riel (US$294,379), with loans totaling 17.18 billion riel ($4.24 million) in 2009, according to National Bank of Cambodia.


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of

  • One Australian, one Cambodian killed in explosion at military base

    Updated: 5:20pm, Friday 16 March 2018 An Australian tourist and a Cambodian soldier were killed in an explosion on Thursday afternoon at an army base in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province. The Australian, whom the government initially identified as a technical demining expert in his 40s, and

  • Peeling back layers of prehistory in Battambang

    When the man passed away, he had not yet reached 50. He belonged to a tribe that had settled near the Sangker River in Battambang province, likely cultivating the fields and raising animals. On the side, they hunted for boars, and even turtles, one of which