Portland nears $100m first close for Fund II

The Caribbean-focused private equity firm is targeting $300m for its second fund.

Portland Private Equity is expecting to hold a first close on its Portland Caribbean Fund II on $100 million before the end of the month, managing partner Douglas Hewson said during a panel at the Global Private Equity Conference hosted by the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association and the International Finance Corporation in Washington last week.

Fund II launched in 2012 and is targeting $300 million, according to Private Equity International’s Research and Analytics division. Portland’s debut fund, AIC Caribbean Fund raised $225 million on a $400 million target in 2007.

Portland invests a minimum of $15 million in Caribbean companies with revenues of more than $100 million and EBITDA of more than $10 million, according to its website. Fund II will follow the same investment strategy as Fund I, investing in telecommunications, financial services and energy companies in the Caribbean. Unlike Fund I, however, Fund II will invest in companies throughout the Caribbean basin, including Panama and Colombia.

Portland is attracted to the Caribbean and its demographics because the number of “baby boomers and travelers have increased”, Hewson said at the conference.

“The market is highly dependent on tourism and tourist arrivals,” he added.

Portland began investing as a Jamaican family office. The firm was founded by chairman Michael Lee-Chin. The AIC Caribbean Fund was launched by managing partners Kip Thompson and Robert Almeida, according to the firm’s website.