BOGOTA'S BRAND NAME INVESTOR

One month after the close of its first fund, Colombi an private equity firm Tribecapital Partners has agreed to acquire a 49 percent stake in Argentinean fashion company Compania Argentina de Diseno. Tribecapital's investment will help the company's flagship brand Etiqueta Negra, or “black tie,” to expand internationally. It will target New York and Miami in particular.

“We want Etiqueta Negra to be recognised outside the country as a national symbol,” said Compania Argentina de Diseno founder Federico Alvarez Castillo in a statement. The brand is associated with the sport of polo, which has long been popular in Argentina, as well as classic cars. The company has marketing alliances with Argentina's La Ellerstina Polo Club and the Juan Manuel Fangio brand.

The strategy is in line with Tribecapital's stated aim of investing in Latin American companies and expanding their operations abroad. The firm's portfolio includes high-end swimwear brand Onda de Mar, telecom company e-Business Distribution, and emergency response healthcare companies UCM Uruguay, Suma Emergencias, Alerta Emergencias Medicas and EMI.

“The companies we acquire have special characteristics that allow the replication of their business model in other countries,” said Tribecapital president Luc Gerard in a statement.

The firm closed its first fund this August, raising $115.5 million (€81 million) during a limited 30-day investment period. The fund's backers include all of Colombia's pension and prepaid severance funds, the firm said. Tribecapital will also likely hold a second and final close before the end of the year, although it did not say how much more it hopes to raise. Gerard says he would like Colombia to be more influential in the international finance community, and that he wants Tribecapital to help facilitate that.

“We have always said that we would like Bogota to be – and we are sure that it can be – to Latin America what London is to Europe: A channel for investments reaching the continent,” he said.

ADVENT, PROCORP SELL MEXICAN DIRECT RETAILER TO CARLYLE
Advent International and Procorp have sold their stakes in Mexican door-to-door retailer Arabela to The Carlyle Group for an undisclosed amount. Arabela sells fragrances and toiletries through salespeople and a bi-weekly catalogue, and has delivered more than 2.5 million orders during the past year. Procorp, a Mexico-listed investment company, founded Arabela in 1991, and Advent invested in it in 1999. During the period of Procorp and Advent's ownership, Arabela “made great strides in consolidating our market presence, institutionalizing and professionalizing the business and making Arabela a serious competitor in the sector,” said Arabela chief executive Walter Biel in a statement. Under Carlyle's ownership Arabela still has “significant potential to increase its presence, diversify geographies and enhance its product offering,” Advent partner Alfredo Alfaro added. Scotia Capital provided financing for the deal.

CONDUIT'S 3X RETURN ON COLOMBIAN COAL PLANT
Conduit Capital Partners has sold its stake in Colombian coal power plant Termotasajero to a Chilean investment fund, Colombian pension funds and a Colombian investment bank for $173 million. The deal will allow Conduit to return three times its investors' money over the period. Conduit initially purchased its 82 percent stake in 1998 and 1999, after which the private equity firm upgraded and renovated the plant, installing modern control systems and ensuring that the plant complies with World Bank environmental standards. “This transaction is important as it is the first time that local pension funds have succeeded in winning an asset of this magnitude in Colombia,” said Conduit partner Juan Paez in a statement. “This deal opens an alternative exit door to sophisticated investors in the country and demonstrates the development and depth of the Colombian pension system over the past few years.”

IFC TAKES STAKE IN CHILEAN LENDING COMPANY
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) will invest up to $15 million for an 18 percent stake in Factorline, a factoring and lending company in Chile. Factorline services small- and medium-sized enterprises which are unable to access traditional banking resources. “This investment will support our further growth and goals by increasing our capital and contributing to the enhancement of the company's corporate governance standards,” said Factorline president Jorge Sabag in a statement. The IFC's country manager for Chile, Yolande Duhem, added: “We are helping Chile's private sector respond to a changing global economic environment, particularly in the government's priority areas of growth and equal opportunity.” The IFC first invested in Factorline via a $5 million senior long-term loan in 2005.

BRASCAN WILL RAISE $2BN FOR BRAZIL
The asset management arm of Banco Brascan, a division of Brookfield Asset Management, is reportedly looking to raise at least $2bn in 2008 for private equity in various Brazilian sectors, according to Latin Finance, which cited sources. The capital will likely be raised across more than one fund, targeting power, timber, infrastructure, real estate and shipping. Brascan, which manages $4bn in Brazil and $8bn in Latin America, is said to be targeting a total of $25bn to be invested in Brazil by 2012. The latest fund would be the largest ever raised for Latin America. The current record holder is Advent International's $1.3 billion fund, which closed in July.

DARBY, STRATUS TO RAISE $221M FOR MEZZANINE FUND
Washington DC private equity firm Darby Overseas will partner with Brazil's Stratus Investimentos to raise a R$400 million ($221 million) mezzanine fund focused on infrastructure, according to the Latin America Venture Capital Association. The fund will invest in the power and energy sectors, including hydroelectric plants, biofuel and ethanol projects, as well as toll roads, warehouses and ports. The fund will likely hold a first close in late November, and limited partners will likely include Brazilian pension funds.

ADVENT IN TALKS TO ACQUIRE RESTAURANT CHAIN
Private equity firm Advent International is negotiating the acquisition of Brazilian restaurant chain Viena, according to Gazeta Mercantil. Viena operates 30 restaurants in Sao Paulo and five in Rio de Janeiro, under several brands. The acquisition would be Advent's first out of the $1.3 billion fund it closed this July.

LATIN AMERICA POISED FOR RECORD FUNDRAISING YEAR
Fundraising for emerging markets funds this year is poised to surpass the $33.2 billion (€24 billion) raised by 162 funds last year, according to data released by the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association. Of these, funds targeting Latin America raised $1.4 billion in the first six months of the year. The total does not include two $1 billion-plus funds raised by Advent International and GP Investimentos this summer, the largest funds ever dedicated to the region. With the addition of these, the fundraising total for the region has already surpassed the $2.7 billion raised in 2006.

CARLYLE MAKES SECOND BRAZIL INVESTMENT
The Carlyle Group will make a “significant investment” in Brazilian real estate developer Scopel, the Washington DC-based private equity firm said in a statement. Scopel builds middle- and low-income housing in Sao Paulo. “This investment will foster Scopel's expansion in Brazil, enabling it to take on more long-term development projects,” said Carlyle managing director Eduardo Machado in a statement. The investment will also allow Scopel to expand geographically to other states and regions of Brazil. The investment is Carlyle's second in Brazil since the firm established its Latin American real estate team in September 2006. Its first investment, a stake in ethanol plant manager Companhia Nacional de Acucar e Alcool (CNAA), was made in March this year through the Carlyle/Riverstone Renewable Energy Infrastructure Fund.