Darby exits 12-year investment in Costa Rica

The Franklin Templeton-subsidiary made its investment in Grupo Financiero Improsathrough its 2001 ProBanco I Fund, a $27m vehicle.

Darby Overseas Investments has exited its stake in Costa Rican financial institution Grupo Financiero Improsa, the firm announced in a statement.

Transaction details were not disclosed. Darby, a subsidiary of investment manager Franklin Templeton Investments, did not respond to a request for comment.

The firm made its investment in Grupo Financiero Improsa in 2000, and later led a follow-on in 2004. Darby helped the bank expand by building up its capabilities in the leasing, consumer lending, insurance brokerage and broker/dealer subsidiary businesses, the firm said in a release.

The bank was a portfolio company of Darby ProBanco I Fund, which closed on $27 million in 2001. The fund is managed by Julio Lastres, Alejandro Schwedhelm, Jose Fuster and Juan Quiroga, according to Darby’s website.

Other portfolio companies include Corporacion Interfin and Grupo Financiero Cuscatlan.

Costa Rica ranked seventh in the Latin American Private Equity & Venture Capital Association scorecard this year, benefitting strongly from high accounting standards. The country also scored well on perceived corruption, tax treatment, protection of intellectual property rights and requirements on inward investment.

Darby is led by chairman Nicholas Brady, Richard Frank, Charles Johnson, Gregory Johnson, Sheldon Lubar and George Wiegers. The firm has offices in Washington, DC, Miami, Mexico City, Bogota, São Paulo, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Seoul, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Istanbul and Warsaw.