By Carolina Mandl
SAOPAULO (Reuters) – U.S. private equity firm Advent International Corp is preparing to launch a $2.2 billion fund to invest in Latin American companies, two people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
The fund launched in coming days will be Advent’s seventh for Latin America and its largest for the region. Advent’s last Latin American fund reached $2.1 billion in commitments in 2014.
Advent declined to comment on the matter.
Advent has invested in companies in Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Peru. The firm intends to close the fund-raising by September, according to one of the sources, who asked for anonymity because discussions are still private.
Advent’s move underscores how long-term investors have not soured on Latin America despite weaker growth and political risks, betting on rebounding growth in coming years as the International Monetary Fund forecasts.
One of Advent’s largest bets in Latin America was the acquisition of an 80 percent stake in the Brazilian operations of Walmart Inc in June.
The world’s biggest retailer did not receive payment for the unit and took a non-cash charge of roughly $4.5 billion. Advent agreed to invest 1.9 billion reais (£370.5 million) to turn around the geographically sprawling and poorly integrated operations.
Advent, which had $36 billion in assets under management in December, has raised more than $6 billion in private equity funds for Latin America since 1996.
Its portfolio in Latin America also includes Argentine card processor Prisma Medios de Pagos SA, Brazilian education company Estácio Participações SA and Peruvian IT outsourcer Canvia.
(Reporting by Carolina Mandl; editing by Brad Haynes and Leslie Adler)