CalPERS Commits Capital To Thai Companies –

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) has carved out a $75 million stake in a $250 million private equity fund that is to target Thai companies with pools of growth and expansion capital.

The Thailand Equity Fund, co-sponsored by San Francisco-based Lombard Investments Inc. and the World Bank’s International Finance Corp., will invest in opportunities in the manufacturing, telecommunications, media, energy and power, consumer products, hospitality and food sectors.

Investing alongside CalPERS will be a large group of Thai investors, including a $30 million commitment from the Thai Finance Ministry, $50 million from the Thai Bankers Association, $10 million from the Industrial Finance Corp. of Thailand, and $5 million from both the Government Pension Fund and the Government Savings Bank.

International investors include the IFC, who will commit $37.5 million to the project, and the Asian Development Bank, which has pledged $25 million.

While details are slim, the fund will only make investments in companies that comply with corporate governance and transparency standards imposed by both the IFC and the Thai government, according to a CalPERS statement. The fund’s portfolio companies must also comply with the social and environmental policies of Thailand and the IFC.

Contact Carolina Braunschweig at: