3i opens in Brazil

The UK-listed firm has hired Marcelo Di Lorenzo from Standard Bank Private Equity to head 3i's four-person team in Sao Paulo.

UK-listed investment firm 3i Group has opened a Sao Paulo, Brazil office, the firm's first in Latin America. Leading the 3i Brazil team is Marcelo Di Lorenzo, who joins from Standard Bank Private Equity.

Di Lorenzo and his investment team have made investments in Latin America over the past 15 years, acquiring businesses such as Brazilian internet service provider UOL, Latin American car rental company Localiza, and Casa do Pao de Queijo, a coffee and snack chain in Brazil. 3i will co-manage Standard Bank's existing investment in Casa do Pao de Queijo.

“The formation of 3i Brazil will enhance our global investment capabilities and will provide our portfolio companies, many of which are already active across Latin America, with further access to the growing region,” said Bob Stefanowski, who leads 3i's American and Asian business, in a statement.

In addition to Di Lorenzo, 3i has hired Standard Bank Private Equity professionals Edward Hanmer, Felipe Vivacqua and Carlos Lopes in Sao Paulo. The three executives and Di Lorenzo will comprise the Latin America team for 3i, which has plans to grow the team in the medium term, a spokesperson for the firm told PEI.

3i will look to invest between $30 million and $100 million per transaction in businesses with enterprise values of up to $200 million. It will consider both control and minority investments, focusing primarily on the consumer and business services sectors.

Other firms keen on Latin America include The Carlyle Group, which last month announced plans to establish an office in Peru’s capital Lima before the end of 2011. Carlyle will start investing in Peruvian companies via a joint venture arrangement with Credicorp, a local financial services firm.