Darby hires mezzanine advisor for Brazil

The US-based emerging markets private equity specialist has brought Denis Jungerman to assist with the roll-out of its Brazilian mezzanine operation.

(www.PrivateEquityCentral.net) Washington, D.C.-based private equity firm Darby Overseas Investments announced today it appointed Denis Jungerman as senior advisor to assist the firm expand its operations in Brazil and launch the first local currency mezzanine fund in an emerging market country.

“Denis Jungerman is joining Darby as we expand our operations in Brazil,” Richard Frank, Darby’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. “We plan to increase the investment focus in Brazil of the Darby Latin American Mezzanine Fund, L.P. (DLAMF) and we are moving forward in partnership with Stratus Investimentos on the development of a local mezzanine fund. Our initial discussions with leaders of major pension funds encourages us to believe that a national mezzanine fund will be highly attractive.”

Darby managing director Pedro Batalla said in the statement the fund has already made a Brazilian investment in Santos Brasil, the operator of the largest container terminal port in South America.

“[The fund] is now analyzing new opportunities and Denis Jungerman will be playing important roles in structuring and closing these deals,” Batalla said in the statement. “We are delighted that Denis will be joining Piero Minardi, a principal of our firm, in the leadership of our São Paulo office.”

Jungerman previously worked for Bank of America, where he was responsible for the coverage of Brazilian investment banking clients in a range of sectors and served as the head of investment banking division for Bank of America in Brazil. Prior to that, he worked at Brazilian private equity fund manager GP Investimentos, J.P. Morgan (as head of the Brazilian M&A team, and subsequently as client banker for energy and infrastructure accounts), Merrill Lynch’s European M&A group, based in London, and McKinsey & Co. in Lisbon and Madrid.

Established in 1994, Darby was founded by Nicholas Brady, former secretary of the US Treasury. The firm invests in Latin American private equity (including specialized financial services funds), emerging markets mezzanine finance transactions in Latin America and in Asia, and global emerging markets and high yield fixed income securities. In addition, Darby sponsors and manages a specialized operating company that provides capital, advisory services and office facilities to technology firms in Latin America.

Last November Darby’s chairman Nicholas Brady announced a strategic partnership with Stratus Investimentos of Brazil to prepare the ground for the Brazil fund, and said in a statement, “Creating a mezzanine fund denominated in Brazilian Real will enable domestic investors, mostly local pension funds, to diversify their portfolios by allocating their resources in long-term assets. We are confident about the investment climate in Brazil and our research, together with that of Stratus, indicates strong interest on the parts of investors and borrowers alike in a Real denominated mezzanine fund.”