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Highland Capital holds first close on private equity fund focused on Kyrgyzstan

Highland Private Equity & Mezzanine Fund announced the first closing with $15 million in capital commitments. The fund seeks total $30 million and expects to hold the final close by August 2019.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is investing $8 million in the fund to help expand access to finance for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Kyrgyz Republic. In addition to IFC, Gregory Serrurier, the fund’s first international investor, and Emil Umetaliev, a reputable local businessman, are among the fund’s investors.
With currently $15 million in capital commitments, the new Highland Private Equity and Mezzanine Fund is the institutional private equity fund in the Kyrgyz Republic. The fund will provide equity and quasi-equity financing to local SMEs in services, agricultural processing, healthcare, education, telecommunications, media, and technology. This is critical because smaller business across the country often struggle to access the capital they need to expand. The fund will provide growth capital of $800,000 to $5.0 million, generating attractive investment returns while promoting job creation and economic growth.
Cholpon Jumashukurov, Highland Capital’s Senior Managing Partner, said: “We are thrilled to have built a diversified base of high‐caliber investors, including IFC and other private investors. We are also thankful to Emil Umetaliev and Gregory Serrurier, who trusted our team and approach by investing in our fund. Our investment approach fits the local market very well as it addresses the huge deficit of risk capital. We see a large number of compelling investment opportunities and we favor investments, where our team can add significant value beyond capital provision.”
IFC’s financing is helping Highland Private Equity and Mezzanine Fund to provide risk capital to up to 15 SMEs in the form of equity and quasi-equity financing while helping them develop strong management systems and corporate governance practices. Highland Capital seeks total $30 million and expects to hold the final close of the fund by August 2019.
“IFC’s investment is part of our broader efforts to foster investments in SMEs while spurring the creation of a local private equity market,” said Cassandra Colbert, IFC Regional Manager for Central Asia. “By supporting the country’s first local private equity fund, we hope to send a strong signal to other investors thinking of entering the Kyrgyz private equity market.”
Highland Capital’s local knowledge and customized investment approach are well-positioned to capitalize on the country’s rapidly growing sectors, its liberal currency and capital repatriation system, rising middle-class population, and favorable macro environment.