Carlyle raises $134m for debut Mexico fund

Twenty-nine percent of the fund has already been invested in two portfolio companies, both bought in 2005.

Global private equity firm The Carlyle Group has raised $134 million (€103 million) for a debut fund dedicated to investments in Mexico.

Joaquin Avila, a Carlyle managing director, established the fund in January of 2004. He became its head in December. Carlyle Mexico Partners has a team of five professionals based in Mexico City.

“This is an exciting and important time for private equity in Mexico, as companies increasingly seek to shed non-core assets or partner with a firm that brings operational and financial expertise,” Avila said in a statement. Growth in Mexico’s markets are a positive factor in making private equity investments in local Mexican companies, said David Rubenstein, a Carlyle co-founder, in the statement.

Carlyle has already used the new fund to invest in two companies. It first acquired a majority stake in Universidad Latinoamerica, a private university that has campuses in Mexico City and in Cuernavaca. It has also acquired a majority stake in Hispanic Teleservices Corporation, a provider of outsourced contact center services for companies that target the Hispanic market in the US. Financial terms for both transactions were not disclosed. Both took place in 2005.

Luis Tellez, a Carlyle managing director who helped co-lead the firm’s Mexico City office, left the firm in December to become the secretary of communications and transportation under Mexican President Felipe Calderon. Tellez has prior experience working in the government: he was Mexico’s secretary of energy under former president Ernesto Zedillo from 1997 until 2000.