Hit by the crisis

The region's private equity markets mainly look less attractive this year, although Colombia and Peru are bright spots

CHILE ON TOP

How Latin America's private equity markets rank in terms of the investment environment
Regional rank Country Score (out of 100) PE/VC as % of GDP
1 Chile 76 0.135
2 Brazil 75 0.146
3 Trinidad and Tobago 63 0.055
4 Mexico 58 0.045
5 Colombia 57 0.033
6 Uruguay 54 0.180
7 Costa Rica 53 0.015
8 Peru 50 0.050
9 Panama 49 0.006
10 Argentina 46 0.105
11 El Salvador 46 0.188
12 Dominican Republic 33 0.162

AUREOS BACKS CONSTRUCTION RENTAL FIRM
Aureos Capital's Emerge Central America Growth Fund (EMERGE) has invested in NiVa Euroequipos (NiVa), a Costa Rican company that specialises in construction equipment rental. The investment was made through a convertible loan. NiVa commenced operations in Costa Rica in 2005 selling and renting tower cranes. Since then it has expanded its product line to include formworks, scaffolding, and shoring equipment among other things. NiVa represents leading European and Chinese equipment manufacturers in Costa Rica.

CONFIDENCE IN LATAM DEAL PROSPECTS
A survey by financial services firm Deloitte has found investors reasonably optimistic about investment prospects in Latin America. The Global Emerging Markets Comparative Report found that 47 percent of respondents expected investment levels in Latin America to increase in the period ahead – compared with 30 percent forecasting a decline and 23 percent believing levels will stay about the same. The three most positive factors cited by respondents were lower valuations, price adjustments and opportunities arising as a result of current uncertainty.

GP INVESTMENTS MARKS DOWN FOUR FIRMS
In its results statement for the first quarter of 2009, Brazilian private equity firm GP Investments revealed it had revised down the value of four portfolio companies “in order to better reflect the current market conditions and the real devaluation since the beginning of the global crisis”. The firm's total assets were worth $832.1 million at the end of the first quarter of this year, compared with $933.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2008.