Baring to turn around OPIC fund

Baring Private Equity’s Latin American division has been chosen to manage Overseas Private Investment Corporation’s struggling SAPEG fund.

Baring Private Equity, the private equity subsidiary of ING Baring, has seen selected to manage the $180m South America Private Equity Growth Fund (SAPEG). The mandate was awarded to Baring Latin America Partners by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a US government agency that provides funding for investment in emerging markets.

Baring was nominated to take over the management of the fund as a result of a review at OPIC to overhaul its under-performing fund. Baring took over SAPEG, which was launched in 1996 and is now fully invested, in late 2001.

The fund, which received financing from OPIC, currently holds interests in ten portfolio companies located in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador. “In the end, our proven ability to deal with the challenges of investing in Latin America made us a natural choice for this assignment,” according to Varel Freeman, managing partner of Baring Latin America Partners. A spokesperson at Baring's London offices said there was a lot of work to be done to turn the fund around.

In addition to SAPEG, Baring manages the Baring Mexico Private Equity Fund, LP and the Baring Latin America Private Equity Fund, LP, which jointly hold investments in Mexico, Brazil and the United States.