Australis closes inaugural infra-related PE fund at $379m

The debut vehicle is targeting companies in Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile that will benefit from increased infrastructure and energy development in Latin America.

Private equity firm Australis Partners has closed its debut fund on $379 million, planning to focus on Latin American mid-market buyout opportunities related to infrastructure.

Australis Partners Fund exceeded its $375 million target, drawing commitments from institutional investors in the US, Canada and Europe. Australis took the fund to market in March 2015 and held a first close on $300 million in early 2016. The fund will make investments in the $40-$60 million range, signing cheques of up to $100 million with its co-investors.

The firm is targeting companies in Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile that stand to benefit from an emerging middle class and increased infrastructure and energy investments in the region by the public and private sectors. Its inaugural investment, announced in May, saw it acquire a 67 percent stake in Grupo Disal, a waste management company operating in Chile, Peru and Paraguay.

A report by the World Bank said in April that infrastructure investment “can be a powerful engine for growth” in Latin America and encouraged governments to increase spending.

Australis, with offices in New York and Chile, launched in 2014 as a spinoff from Citi Venture Capital International, a private equity firm investing in developing markets.

“[We] will seek to develop and promote sustainable value-building strategies with management for the benefit of our portfolio companies and to deliver liquidity for our investment partners,” Australis managing partner Enrique Bascur said.

Park Hill Group acted as placement agent for Australis.