Mercapital opens in Sao Paulo

The Madrid-based buyout firm has plans to open yet another office in Latin America before the end of the year.

Madrid-based Mercapital announced the opening of its Sao Paulo, Brazil office Monday, a move prompted by the need to help Spanish companies expand in the region.

The firm also has plans to open another office in Latin America before the end of the year.

Mercapital is increasing its focus on assisting medium-sized Spanish companies enter Latin America and is analysing opportunities in Brazil and Mexico for four portfolio companies in the healthcare, retail, computing and mining sectors. Target markets for Mercapital in the region include Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

The firm closed its most recent fund on €550 million (£468 million; $732 million), exceeding its original €500 target. Fund III is 50 percent invested, and focuses entirely on mid-market buyouts, a shift in strategy compared to its predecessor fund, only two-thirds of which was dedicated to buyouts. The remaining third of the fund focused on growth capital.

In 2007, Mercapital entered a joint venture with Spanish business and finance group Corporacion Financera Alba as exclusive adviser of its private equity fund for groth, Deya. The fund has invested in Mecalux, a manufacturer of warehousing systems, Pepe Jeans and Spanish waste collection company Ros Roca.

Mercapital has over €1.4 billion of funds under management.

Brazil's private equity market, its opportunities and challenges, will be covered in-depth at the upcoming PEI Brazil Forum.