LeapFrog leads $45 mln investment in Indonesia’s Reliance Capital-Reuters

(Reuters) – Private equity firm LeapFrog Investments is leading a $45 million investment in Indonesian financial services provider Reliance Capital Management with the intention of taking it public, a senior executive told Reuters.

LeapFrog’s first investment in Indonesia is aimed at tapping the rising middle class in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, the firm’s partner and Southeast Asia head Michael Fernandes said in an interview in Jakarta.

Over the next year, LeapFrog expects to invest a further $100 million mainly in the insurance-related sector in Asian countries such as Indonesia, India, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam, said Fernandes, the former India country head for Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd .

LeapFrog, the Netherlands Development Finance Company and reinsurer PartnerRe Ltd will get a minority stake in Reliance Capital when the Indonesian company goes for an initial public offering (IPO), Fernandes said.

The IPO is likely to take place in Indonesia but the timing and size would depend on market conditions and capital requirements, he added.

“The target for all of us is to, at the right time, take this company to market,” Fernandes said. “There’s no urgency from an IPO perspective, but the intention is this is a story which we believe the market will appreciate.”

Reliance Capital has businesses in life and health insurance, multi-finance and asset management. It also has a listed securities arm, PT Reliance Securities Tbk.

LeapFrog’s move is the latest foreign investment in Indonesia’s financial services sector. Japan’s Sumitomo Life Insurance Co and Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co Ltd had bought stakes in Indonesian insurers, while Britain’s Aviva PLC is partnering with Indonesian conglomerate PT Astra International Tbk to sell life insurance products.