Aureos holds first close on $140m for Latin America

The new fund is just one of several regionally focussed vehicles Aureos Capital is in the midst of raising.

Aureos Capital has held a first close on $140 million (€94 million) for its $300 million Latin America fund, the largest such vehicle it has raised to date. The fund is expected to hold its final close in 2008, and will make investments of between $2 million and $10 million in Mexico, Central America and the Andean region.

“Mid-cap companies in Latin America are benefiting from better access to the US, via free trade agreements such as NAFTA and CAFTA,” regional managing partner Erik Peterson said in a statement. “Demographic factors, such as the retirement of baby boomers, and the relatively young population within the region, combined with proximity to the US are also driving an increased tendency amongst US companies to choose the region, in preference to Asia, as the location for the outsourcing of production and services.”

Aureos has raised two other Latin American funds. The firm raised the $36.3 million Aureos Central America fund in 2002, and in 2006 was selected by the Inter-American Development Bank to manage the $21 million Emerge Central American Growth Fund.

The firm is also in the process of raising several other regionally focussed funds, all of which will target small to mid-cap companies. The firm held a first close last November on $50 million for a planned $100 million Central Asia fund, and has also raised $16 million for a $25 million Pacific Islands fund as well as $34.5 million toward a $70 million China fund.

This year, Aureos also plans to raise a $400 million Africa fund. The new fundraising efforts, when complete, will have doubled Aureos’ capital under management to $1.2 billion. The firm was established in 2001, when it was formed to take over management of a portfolio of 14 CDC Group funds, and has 25 offices in sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, India, China, the Pacific Islands and Central America.