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August 21, 2012 Altra hits $164M on Fund II

Altra Investments has raised $164M on a $300M target for its latest private equity fund, which is targeting investments in mid-market companies in Peru and Colombia, according to US Securities and Exchange Commission documents.


The firm has raised its capital from a variety of limited partners, including institutional investors, endowments, foundations and high net-worth individuals, according to a source with knowledge of the fund. Around 75 percent of its LP base is made up of international investors, with the remaining 25 percent based in Colombia, Peru or other Latin American countries, the source said.


Altra Private Equity Fund II has the same strategy as previous Altra funds, the source said. The firm typically invests between $20M and $50M in equity in its portfolio companies, which generally have revenues between $15M and $100M.


Stanwich Advisors is listed as an associated broker or dealer on the fund, according to SEC documents.


The firm’s seven active portfolio companies maintain operations in Colombia, Peru, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Mexico, Chile, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Argentina and Spain, according to its website.


Altra was founded in 2005 by Darío Durán and Mauricio Camargo. The firm has deployed $263M across its investments since its inception, according to its website. Altra has offices in Bogota and Lima.


Latin American fundraising has declined significantly since last year, when regional-focused firms raised a record $8.4bln, according to Emerging Markets Private Equity Association data. The drop off is largely due to a smaller number of mega-buyout funds on the market, which accounted for approximately $7.3bln of last year’s total.


“Fundraising in markets with a still finite pool of managers is often cyclical, and managers with similar strategies often come to market around the same time and benefit from the heightened increase in investor interest that their combined presence in the market can create,” EMPEA vice president Jennifer Choi told Private Equity International last week.


“We saw many of the largest firms with a Latin America focus raise funds around the same time in 2010 and 2011 (particularly large Brazil platforms). In 2010 it was Advent and Southern Cross with regional platforms, and 2011 was the Brazil story.”


However, Peru and Colombia appear to have generated a significant level of interest from private equity firms and LPs in recent months. The Carlyle Group is in the process of raising a $125M vehicle for Peruvian investments, and is understood to be marketing the fund to both US and Peruvian public pensions.


In October, Advent International announced its expansion into Colombia with the opening of its office in Bogota. Colombia has been cited by many sources as one of the friendliest business environments in Latin America, sporting a regulatory structure that has been accommodating of the private equity industry.

SOURCE: LAVCA
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