Advent in market with fifth Latin American fund

The fund, with a target of around $1.5bn, will focus investments primarily on Mexico, Argentina and Brazil.

Advent International is raising its fifth Latin American fund, targeting about $1.5 billion for investments primarily in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.

It’s not clear if the fund has held a first close, or Advent’s fundraising timeline. Advent declined to comment. The firm closed its fourth Latin American fund on $1.3 billion in 2007.

Advent has received several commitments to the fund recently from US pensions. The Washington State Investment Board committed $100 million earlier this year, and the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System invested $15 million in the fund. The New Mexico Public Employees’ Retirement Association is considering making a $20 million commitment to the fund.

Pension documents from Washington State’s last investment board meeting said the fund is targeting $2 billion, and will pursue “control positions in later-stage mid-market businesses”. That target has been lowered to $1.5 billion.

Advent has been working in Latin America since 1996, and has invested in 39 companies with a combined enterprise value of more than $6 billion. The firm has 30 investment professionals in the region working out of offices in Sao Paulo, Mexico City and Buenos Aires. The Latin American team is co-led by Ernest Bachrach and Juan Carlos Torres.

The firm’s investments in Latin American cover a range of industries, including financial services, restaurants and retail. For example, in Brazil, the firm has invested in Kroton, one of the largest private education companies in the country; Viena, a casual dining restaurant chain and CETIP, a central depository for private fixed-income securities and over-the-counter derivatives.

Advent was founded in 1984 and has raised a total of about $24 billion. Along with Latin America, the firm also focuses on Western, Central and Eastern Europe and Japan. Earlier this month, Advent's head of fundraising, Bruce Barclay, left the firm and will be replaced by Robert Brown, a former managing director at The Carlyle Group who focused on North American fundraising and investor relations.