Apax Partners has opened an office in São Paulo, Brazil, its first in South America.
The firm plans to invest a portion of its latest fund in Brazil, though it is unclear exactly how much Apax plans to deploy in the region. The firm's $7.5 billion Fund VIII closed in June. The São Paulo-office, which opened earlier this week, is led by Walter Piacsek, a partner who’s responsible for the firm’s investment in Latin America.
The firm's local deal team consists of four investment professionals, including Denis Pedreira who previously worked at Actis. Apax will be looking to hire an additional team member, Piacsek told Private Equity International.
“Brazil has been on Apax’s radar for many years and [we believe] it offers great opportunities. The fact that growth has slowed a little bit has maybe started to bring valuations to a more reasonable level,” he said.
Equity investments in the region will range between $100 million and $500 million per transaction, but could increase beyond $1 billion with co-investors, the firm said in a statement.
Piacsek joined Apax approximately a year ago when the firm started planning to open the São Paulo-office. Prior to Apax, he spent 13 years at The Boston Consulting Group, where he was a partner and head of BCG Brazil. He also worked for almost a decade in banking in Brazil.
Since 2010, Apax has invested 14 percent of Apax funds’ in companies in Brazil and other emerging markets. In 2010, Apax acquired Brazilian IT and business process outsourcing company TIVIT. The firm has also supported some of its portfolio companies including Travelex and HUB by making add-on acquisitions in the country.