Dragon Capital increases assets of funds under management to $800 mln
Investment company Dragon Capital, one of the leading in the Ukrainian market, currently manages funds with a total value of assets of about $800 million, compared with about $700 million at the beginning of this year, the founder and CEO of the investment company Dragon Capital, Tomas Fiala, has said.
"We continue attracting investors to the funds we create. After EVF (Europe Virgin Fund), we created DCNUF (Dragon Capital New Ukraine Fund) and three more real estate funds. We have co-investors everywhere. We manage these funds ourselves and invest our own funds there," he said in an exclusive interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
Fiala said that the share of Dragon Capital in each of these funds is from 35% to 51%, which allows other investors to make a decision on investing much more comfortably.
The head of Dragon Capital also announced plans for the company to remain private. "We are not planning an IPO or attracting an investor to the Dragon Capital holding. We continue attracting investors to the funds that we create," he said, adding that Ukraine remains the main market for investment.
According to Fiala, in the absence of the rule of law in Ukraine and an undeveloped stock market, Dragon Capital is more focused not on portfolio investments, but on investments, where it acts as a majority shareholder – both in private equity and in real estate. "We have significantly more resources, both physical and monetary, focused specifically on direct investments, and not on trading and brokerage," the investment banker said.
Commenting on recent transactions outside the real estate sector, in particular the purchase Aqua-Eco (Truskavets, Lviv region), which extracts, produces and sells natural waters under the Truskavetska trademark, from the international group IDS Borjomi International, Fiala said that this company was put up for sale and was bought after rather lengthy negotiations. According to him, the company has been following this market since the early 2000s, and now has a partner with extensive experience in this area, which has not yet become one of the shareholders of Aqua-Eco.
"This is similar to the story with the bank [recently, Dragon Capital, together with ex-head of Alfa-Bank Ivan Svitek, acquired Unex-Bank], when there is a synergy between us and a specialized co-investor, who in the future will be a minority shareholder and co-managing partner of this project," the head of the investment company said.
He confirmed that Dragon Capital still has no plans to enter crop assets. "If the market were more liberal, we would have considered the option of buying farmland and partnerships with farmers. They would be interested in attracting us as a financial investor. We would buy the land and lease it to them for 20 years. But in the form in which this law was passed, it is not very attractive for us," Fiala added.
He also said that he is thinking about investing in the subsoil, but there are still many risks associated with state regulation in this sector. In this regard, Fiala recalled that Dragon Capital remains committed to investing in the industry, "where there is less overlap with government regulation and with officials, where there are fewer risks."
He also said that the investment banking department of the company now has many M&A tasks: agriculture, IT and other industries, as well as eurobonds. "We are planning to participate in another placement of eurobonds in the near future. There are many plans and tasks in this direction now," the head of Dragon Capital said.
When asked about the likelihood of a Ukrainian IPO, which has been paused for more than 10 years, Fiala predicted what an initial public offering would be. "But, more likely, it will be from the IT sector, e-commerce, from some kind of new economy. And it will certainly be on the external market – most likely in London," the investment banker said.