Advent expands to Bogotá

The firm will try and capitalise on opportunities created by Colombia’s growing economy and the easing of local regulatory pressure on private equity.

Advent International has opened an office in Bogotá, Colombia, underscoring the country’s growing importance in Latin America’s private equity landscape. The new office will focus on investments in Colombia, Perú and Central America.

Managing director Diego Serebrisky, who had previously worked for Advent in Mexico City for 13 years, will lead the office, which will target growth and buyout investments in the pharmaceutical, retail, energy, financial service, mining and oil and gas industries. Director Andrés Marulanda, associate Hernán Cely and analyst Jacky Finkelstein will also join the office.

Advent  could not be reached for comment.

Bogotá

Private equity’s stock in Colombia has risen recently as regulations on private equity fund formation and operation have eased, according to the Latin American Venture Capital Association’s 2010 regional scorecard. Recent regulatory changes eliminated the requirement that local fund managers to use a broker or fiduciary and now allow private equity firms to invest abroad and create regional funds. Also, local fund managers are no longer required to have at least $10 million under management to make foreign investments, according to the report.

The regulatory changes have come in an environment of economic growth in the country, as well as waning fears of the violence and corruption that plagued Colombia through the early part of the last decade. The International Monetary Fund estimates that average annual GDP growth will be just below 5 percent through 2014.

The firm launched its first regionally focused Latin America fund in 1996. Its most recent fund, Advent Latin American Private Equity Fund, closed last year on $1.65 billion. In July, the firm exited its investment in Cetip, a Brazilian depository for private fixed income securities and over-the-counter derivatives, for $512 million cash.

Advent was founded in 1984 and maintains offices in Western and Central Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia. The firm has raised $26 billion in private equity capital since inception and has invested in more than 270 companies valued at more than $60 billion, according to a statement.