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Ekuinas commits another RM100 mil to Dana Asas fund to support Bumiputera firms

Publish date: Tue, 28 May 2024, 03:44 PM

KUALA LUMPUR (May 28): Ekuiti Nasional Bhd (Ekuinas), a state-owned private equity firm, said on Tuesday it is committing another RM100 million to its Dana Asas II fund.

The second tranche of Dana Asas launched with RM100 million fund in March 2023 will support more high-growth, mid-market Bumiputera companies, Ekuinas said in a statement. Ekuinas also aims to expand into private credit with the establishment of an RM800 million fund, it said.

“This direct lending model will broaden the spectrum of financing from Ekuinas, complementing our existing private equity investments in supporting the growth and customised needs of high-potential and high-growth companies,” said chief executive officer Datuk Syed Yasir Arafat Syed Abd Kadir.

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In a statement in conjunction with the release of its financial year 2023 results, Syed Yasir said 2023 was a trying year due to the geopolitical and macroeconomic impact which left its mark on local and global economies.

However, he said Ekuinas is seeing its strategic investment and divestment efforts set in motion during a challenging 2023 come to fruition in the first half of 2024 (1H2024).

“Our efforts in deal closing crystallised in 1H2024; we divested 50.2% of our stake in Icon [Offshore Bhd] (KL:ICON) in March, deployed capital from our Tranche IV Fund with an 80% acquisition in Symbiotica [Speciality Ingredients Sdn Bhd] in April and committed 52% of the capital for Dana Asas with our second investment from the fund in Mizou [Holdings Sdn Bhd] earlier this month.

“In our value creation agenda, Ekuinas intensified initiatives to strengthen and future proof our portfolio companies. This included ramping up digitalisation, creating innovative solutions to manage multiple customer touchpoints, from in-store to online platforms, such as social media and e-commerce,” he said.

For the year ended Dec 31, 2023, Ekuinas’ cumulative committed direct investment reached RM4.1 billion.

The overall year-on-year revenue growth for the portfolio companies was 7%.

Notably, Exabytes and Medispec achieved impressive revenue growth of 22.5% and 15.4% respectively.

Although the overall earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) for portfolio companies contracted by 7%, Orkim recorded an Ebitda growth of 8.9%, and Ekuinas’ Education Group saw a remarkable 65.3% increase in Ebitda.

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