General Atlantic co-invests in Latin America deal

General Atlantic was part of a quartet of co-investors which has backed Colombia-listed investment company Grupo Sura’s $3.6bn acquisition of ING Group’s assets in Latin America.

Grupo de Inversiones Suramericana (Grupo Sura), a Colombia-listed financial services group, has completed its acquisition ING Group's Latin American assets after enlisting the help of private equity group General Atlantic.

The consortium – comprising Grupo Sura, General Atlantic, Colombian financial investment company Grupo Bolivar, the IFC and Bancolombia – paid €2.65 billion ($3.6 billion) for the assets, including €65 million of assumed debt, ING said in a statement.

The assets in question comprised ING’s pensions, life insurance and investment management businesses in Chile, Mexico, Uruguay, Peru and Colombia.

General Atlantic contributed $300 million in equity with the other co-investors committing $1.05 billion in total, according to a separate statement from the buyers.

Pat Hedley, a managing director at General Atlantic, told Private Equity International that the deal had been in gestation for some time: “Our Latin American team was familiar with Grupo Sura, and together with our strong New York-based financial services sector team, had been following the situation for a while,” she said.

“We see Latin America as a really high growth market, and financial services is an attractive segment within that market,” she added.

William Ford, General Atlantic chief executive, said in the statement: “As a market leader in financial services in the fast growing Andean countries [Chile, Colombia, and Peru]and with a strong position in Mexico and Uruguay, Grupo Sura’s new acquisition is well positioned to add new investment management services and to accelerate its growth in the region.”

The deal builds on a busy 2011 for General Atlantic, during which it completed 15 investments worldwide according to Hedley.