Private equity firm Leopard Capital announced Monday that it is putting its controlling interest in Cambodian beer company Kingdom Breweries up for sale as part of the fund’s requirement to exit its investments before a 2016 expiry.
Leopard Cambodia Fund, an investment fund managed by Leopard Capital, said it is looking for an investor to take over its 55 percent stake in the boutique Phnom Penh brewery.
“LCF is seeking a strategic investor that is committed to financing and developing Kingdom through its next stage of growth. Kingdom is positioned to capitalize on Cambodia’s rising disposable income levels and growing middle class,” the company said in its statement.
Douglas Clayton, CEO of Leopard Capital Cambodia, said the company’s year-on-year sales growth has been promising but the fund was unable to invest sufficient time into the company.
“We have managed to grow sales every year. The main thing is it takes a decade or longer to build a large brewery and we don’t have the time,” he said.
Since entering the beer market in 2010, Kingdom has experimented with introducing different products and prices to target different consumers.
From entering the market at a premium price for its bottled beers, the company has rolled out cheaper brands such as Kingdom Gold and Kingdom Dark in the economy and standard segments in a bid to keep up with rival companies such as the ubiquitous Angkor and Anchor brands.
“If we look at most of the beer companies in Cambodia they are present in multiple segments. It’s not a big population and if you do one segment here you can’t scale up fully enough,” said Mr. Clayton.
Mr. Clayton said it has not been determined whether the private investment group owning the remaining share in the brewery will also offload its stake.
Kingdom is projected to achieve sales of over $10 million during the coming year, Leopard says.