DLJ South American team leads $370m Brazil deal

DLJ, Gavea, Magna and Highbridge are among the firms picking up a 25% stake in Brazil-based Grupo Santillana de Ediciones, a publisher of educational text books.

DLJ South American Partners has led an investor group in a $370 million investment for a 25 percent stake in Grupo Santillana de Ediciones, a publisher of educational text books in Latin America and Spain.

The investor group consists of Highbridge Mezzanine Partners, Magna Capital, Stichting Pensioenfonds Zorg en Welzijin and Gavea Investimentos. The group also included several of DLJ’s limited partners, including Albright Capital Management, Honeywell Capital Management, Partners Group and PCGI.

DLJ South American Partners was formed in 2006 and closed its debut fund on $300 million in 2008 to focus on Latin American investments, especially in Argentina, Brazil and Chile. The team was formed as a joint venture between Credit Suisse’s alternative investments division and a team of Latin American investment professionals led by Carlos Garcia and Marcelo Medeiros.

Brazil is becoming increasingly key for many private equity firms as its economy continues to grow and its lawmakers open the way for foreign investment. As The Carlyle Group’s Fernando Borges told PEO in January: “I think the market is very attractive; it is growing, stable. There are many sectors that need money and we’re going to see good deal flow. The level of activity we’ll see over the next five years will be totally different than what we say over the past five years.”

Carlyle made its debut investment in Brazil in January, committing $250 million for a 63.6 percent stake in CVC Brasil Operadora e Agencia de Viagens, which operates tours and travel services in Brazil and throughout Latin America.

Apax Partners earlier this month agreed to buy a 54 percent stake in Tivit, an information technology services company with 16 locations throughout Brazil. The investment, for which no financial details were disclosed, was Apax’s first in the country.

First Reserve also earlier this month announced it was investing up to $500 million in Brazil-based Barra Energia, an independent exploration and production company.