Sri Lanka’s stock market was all abuzz yesterday with the unexpected news of leading corporate figure Nimal Perera resigning from the director boards of the companies controlled by the business magnate Dhammika Perera amid speculation of a massive fall-out between the duo.
Nimal Perera yesterday informed the Colombo Stock Exchange of his resignation from the boards of Royal Ceramics, Amaya Leisure, The Kingsbury, Haycarb, Hayleys and Talawakelle Tea Estates—all controlled by Dhammika Perera—with effect from March 7.
The duo is arguably the most successful in riding Sri Lanka’s post-war economic boom, with aggressively acquiring a number of listed and unlisted companies including giant business houses such as Hayleys and Delmege.
Perera is said to be controlling over 20 listed entities in the country and his net worth is estimated at over US $ 800 million.
“We’ve been together for about 14 to 15 years. It’s time I go on my own. I want to start something with my two sons, who are now grown up,” Nimal Perera told Mirror Business, following the announcement of his resignations.
Nimal Perera currently owns about 3 percent of Pan Asia Bank PLC, a mid-sized bank controlled by Dhammika Perera, through an investment vehicle he controls called NP Capital. He also owns a tea broking company.
“Now I can get more involved in the capital market,” says Nimal Perera.
Dhammika was said to have spotted Nimal as an astute investor cum trader at the Colombo bourse and later Nimal was widely considered as Dhammika’s de facto portfolio manager.
However, market sources for sometime had been speculating that the differences between the duo were steadily growing.
In fact, in the last couple of years, Nimal Perera was seen trying his luck with some purchases on his own. Though many expect more fine points behind what appears to be the end of Dhammika-Nimal saga to unravel in the coming few weeks and months, it’s unlikely that anybody would think twice to say what the duo had going for so many years was a fine innings.
Dhammika Perera was not available for comment. (Indika Sakalasooriya)