The government of Colombia has selected an Ashmore Investment Management-led consortium to manage a $500 million fund supporting the development of transport, energy and other infrastructure projects. Ashmore is an emerging markets-focused investment firm headquartered in London.
Ashmore and local investment bank Inverlink have been selected as managers of the Infrastructure Fund of Colombia by the Colombian government in a private competitive selection process, with Macquarie Capital as its technical adviser. All three have agreed to commit capital to the fund either directly or through managed entities.
The fund is being sponsored by the Colombian government in conjunction with two multilateral institutions in the region – the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Andean Development Corporation (CAF). It will have initial capital of $500 million and will be structured as a private equity fund under Colombian law.
The Colombian government is supplying 25 percent of the fund's capital according to Bibiana Lara, Colombian public credit director at IDB. IDB and CAF will in combination provide an additional 25 percent of the capital although the organisations' boards have not yet formally approved the investments.
Additional investment is being sought from local pension funds and insurance companies.
The Ashmore-Inverlink consortium beat proposals from four other parties. Their identities have not been disclosed, but sister publication InfrastructureInvestor learned during the selection process that Latin America-focused private equity firm Conduit Capital was among the other proposers.
The objective of the fund will be to support the development of projects and companies in the transport, energy, water, sanitation, communications and logistics sectors of the Colombian economy.
The three sponsoring parties signed a memorandum of understanding in 2008 to find ways to finance infrastructure in Colombia due to its growing needs in that area.
An Ashmore spokesperson declined to comment on the fund, saying that the firm's selection as manager was not “set in stone”.
WASHINGTON STATE INVESTS $100M IN LATIN AMERICA
Washington State Investment Board, the $68 billion pension fund, has committed $100 million to Advent Latin American Private Equity Fund V. The firm's fourth Latin American fund closed on $1.3 billion in 2007, which Advent says is the region's largest private equity fund. Washington State committed $25 million to Fund IV.
GP FOUNDER DONATES $14M TO US UNIVERSITY
Brazilian billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann, founder of Brazilian private equity firm GP Investments, has donated $14 million to the University of Illinois. The money will be used to set up a Brazilian studies department and is the largest ever made to the university by someone who is not an alumnus. Lemann attended Harvard.
MONOMOY CAPITAL PARTNERS ACQUIRES MOLL RAMOS
US-based private equity firm Monomoy Capital Partners has acquired Moll Ramos from Moll Industries as an add-on to the firm's plastics platform, Fortis Plastics. Moll Ramos operates an injection moulding facility in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, which services Mexican and US appliance makers. The value of the deal was not disclosed.
JLL TO EXPAND PHARMANET INTO BRAZIL
New York-based private equity firm JLL Partners has delisted PharmaNet Development Group for $250 million and immediately plans to open an office for the company in São Paulo, Brazil. The clinical trial services business has operated in Latin America since 2002 and currently has an office in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
ADVENT IN TALKS WITH CETIP
Boston-based Advent International is reportedly in advanced talks to acquire 30 percent of the Brazilian Securities Clearing House and Depository, CETIP. This is the largest depository for private fixed-income securities in Latin America. Any deal will have to be approved by the company's shareholders.
VECTOR PORTFOLIO COMPANY MOVES OPERATIONS TO MEXICO
Industrial printer manufacturing company Printronix, purchased by US private equity firm Vector Capital for $108 million last year, has moved its manufacturing operations to Nogales, Mexico, from California. The company will more than quadruple the size of its plant.
IFC INVESTS IN MICROINSURANCE
The International Finance Corporation has acquired a 16.5 percent equity stake in year-old company Protecta, Peru's first specialised microinsurance group. The investment will be used to strengthen the company's capital base and extend the reach of its financial products. The IFC has deployed roughly $500 million in Peru to date.
IGNIA IS CERTIFIED AS MEXICO'S FIRST B CORPORATION
Social venture capital firm Ignia's debut fund is the first entity with core operations in Mexico to receive ceritification as a B corporation from nonprofit organisation B Lab. The new designation denotes companies working to solve social and environmental problems with a governance structure reflecting stakeholders' interests.
EQUITY INTERNATIONAL BACKS HOMEBUILDER
Private equity real estate company Equity International has purchased roughly 5 percent of publicly-listed Brazilian homebuilder Construtora Tenda through its $500 million fourth fund. The firm purchased roughly 20 million shares for an undisclosed price. The stock opened for trading on the Bovespa at R$1.54 (€0.50; $0.68) per share. Tenda is a homebuilder focused exclusively on the affordable housing sector. Affordable housing has become an increasingly popular investment target in Brazil as the global economic crisis deepens and the spending power of the middle class is hit.
BAP CAPITAL TARGETS $175M FOR DEBUT FUND
BAP Capital has started fundraising for its debut Caribbean & Latin America (CLA) Real Estate Fund targeting $175 million. The CLA fund will focus on for-sale housing from affordable properties to luxury resorts and distressed assets. The fund's primary target markets will be the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Antigua and Barbuda and its secondary target markets include Panama, Colombia and Costa Rica.
CARTESIAN, WOLFENSOHN FINANCE BRAZILIAN BANK
Private equity firms Cartesian Capital Group and Wolfensohn Capital Partners, the Dayan family and World Bank unit the International Finance Corporation have teamed up to provide financing of R$410 million (€47 million; $60 million) to Brazil's Banco Daycoval. The capital will help the bank increase lending to small- and medium-sized enterprises amid the global financial crisis.