In conjunction with the opening of its office in São Paulo, Apax Partners (Apax), one of the world’s largest private equity groups, said that it is planning to invest a portion of Apax VIII, a US$7.5 billion global fund that Apax advises, in Brazil and Latin America more broadly, as well as in other emerging markets.
Since 2010, 14% of Apax Funds’ capital has already been invested in companies in Brazil and other emerging markets.
Apax has an established track record of investment in Brazil, with funds advised by Apax having acquired the leading Brazilian IT and business process outsourcing firm TIVIT in 2010 – at that time the largest PE transaction in the country and the first PE take-private – and having also helped companies in Apax Funds’ portfolio such as Travelex and HUB make significant acquisitions in the country.
Walter Piacsek, Partner at Apax and with responsibility for investments in Brazil and Latin America, said that the fund’s equity investments in the region will probably range between US$100 million and US$500 million per transaction, but could increase beyond US$1 billion with co-investors.
Mr. Piacsek said he is "very excited about growing Apax in Brazil and the region – a dynamic and diverse market that offers significant potential." Apax Partners has advised funds that total over US$40 billion in aggregate and currently has investments in approximately 40 companies globally.
Piacsek said: "Apax is not simply a financial investor. We are focused on investing in industries and sub-sectors where we have significant expertise, which allows us to support companies to grow faster and more profitably. Brazil has a large economy with many successful companies, talented entrepreneurs and highly skilled management. We are long term investors and can see beyond short term volatility."
Apax offers companies both local support and access to its network of international experts in London, New York, Munich, Tel Aviv, Mumbai, Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Prior to joining Apax, Mr. Piacsek had a 13-year career at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), where he was a Partner and Head of BCG Brazil. He also worked for almost a decade in banking in Brazil, having most recently served as Executive Vice President and Co-Head of Wholesale Banking at Banco Votorantim, and having initiated his career at Citibank. He holds a degree in Business from FGV – Fundação Getúlio Vargas, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
John Megrue, the CEO of Apax Partners US, noted at the office opening that Brazil presents major opportunities for long-term investors like Apax. He said that the decision to open an office in São Paulo with a complete local team already in place is "a strong sign of confidence in this market."
Megrue said: "Brazil is an exciting country to which Apax has been increasing its commitment in recent years and we are fortunate to have Walter’s background and expertise to assist in building a truly significant business in the region."