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BBVA sells AFP Horizonte business in Colombia

(Financial Times) It was bound to happen, it seems. BBVA said earlier this week that it is to sell its Colombian pension fund management business, AFP Horizonte, for about $530m.
The buyer will be no other than the local AFP Porvenir, the retirement business leg of Colombia’s powerful banking group, Grupo Aval. This continues with the trend started last year by one of Grupo Aval’s main competitors, Colombia’s Grupo Sura, which paid $3.6n for the regional assets of Dutch bancassurer ING Groep.
The deal should be sealed in the first half of next year, and it will add 3.5m customers to Porvernir’s existing broad base of 5.3m clients.
Back in May, news came from Madrid that BBVA, Spain’s second-biggest bank by assets, was considering a full or partial sale of its regulated pension fund administrators in Colombia, Peru, Chile and Mexico.
It now looks like retirement investment management businesses in Chile and Peru could follow suit, at some point. Last month, it sold its Mexican retirement management business for $1.6bn to Grupo Financiero Banorte, which runs the country’s fourth bank by assets, in partnership with the Mexican Social Security Institute.
Some analysts believe the Spanish giant is doing this to strengthen its capital base. Yet, according to a BBVA spokesman, the decision was the result of a review of the Latin American pension fund business: it transpired that this particular unit was not a core operation.
BBVA’s pension business in Latin America generated net profits of about €180m, or $240m, last year.

Advent Enters Mexican Pension Sector with Purchase of InverCap Holdings

(Wall Street Journal)–Private equity firm Advent International has found an entry-point into Mexico’s fast-consolidating pension fund sector via the purchase of a significant stake in InverCap Holdings.

Luis Solorzano, who leads Advent’s Mexico office, said in an interview that his private equity firm identified InverCap as an interesting vehicle for tapping the country’s pension business some time ago, and that through a relationship with InverCap’s director, Advent was given the opportunity last week to buy out institutional investors who were looking to exit the pension manager.

Mr. Solorzano declined to disclose the deal’s financial terms, which he said were confidential.

Mexican pension funds, known as Afores, administer 1.86 trillion pesos ($146 billion) in assets for workers in more than 48 million accounts, according to November data from pension regulator Consar.

Over the past year, Mexican bank Grupo Financiero Banorte SAB (GBOOY, GFNORTE.MX) has driven consolidation in the sector, first via the purchase of Prudential Financial Inc.’s (PRU) 50% stake in the Mexican Social Security Institute’s Afore XXI, and most recently via Afore XXI Banorte’s acquisition of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA’s (BBVA) Mexican pension business.

Those purchases narrowed the field to 12 Afores, and Banorte’s chief executive Alejandro Valenzuela said he expects the sector to further concentrate among seven or eight players.

Consar has paved the way for more consolidation by blessing the purchase of the Bancomer assets, which catapults Afore XXI Banorte to the top position among Mexican pension administrators while also giving it a bigger market share than previously permitted by the regulator.

Mexican regulations stipulate that pension fund administrators shouldn’t have a market share of more than 20% each. Those guidelines, however, can be waived if a committee of union, government and employer representatives deems it in the best interest of savers, as was the case in the Afore XXI Banorte-BBVA transaction.

With just over 2.9 million accounts, Afore InverCap is currently the seventh-biggest pension administrator in the Mexican system. By assets under management, InverCap is the sixth-biggest with $7.66 billion at the end of November.

Advent typically stays with an investment for three to seven years, but that time horizon certainly isn’t written in stone, Mr. Solorzano said. Advent is fully prepared to address opportunities for consolidation that could arise in the Mexican pension sector, including the potential to make additional pension fund purchases or to sell out of InverCap, he added.

Cesar Montemayor, InverCap’s chief executive, said in a statement that his fund was pleased to have a partner with the global reach, local market knowledge and experience in financial services of Advent. Reached by phone in Monterrey, Mexico, Mr. Montemayor said he also sees the Mexican pension sector continuing to consolidate, since it’s a business of scale, but that InverCap intends to stay in the business long-term.

While InverCap has been growing organically, Mr. Montemayor said he wouldn’t rule out the possibility of InverCap making an acquisition down the road.

More broadly, the Mexican economy is enjoying solid economic growth that is seen expanding the country’s middle class, while a recently approved labor reform is expected to drive job creation, thus expanding the number of workers eligible for an employment-linked pension program.

Write to Amy Guthrie at [email protected]

Palladium Equity Partners Announces Sale of Wise Foods to Arca Continental

December 17, 2012 – Palladium Equity Partners  has signed a definitive agreement to sell its portfolio company Wise Foods, Inc. to Arca Continental, S.A.B. de C.V. (BMV: AC). The terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Continue reading “Palladium Equity Partners Announces Sale of Wise Foods to Arca Continental”

IFC Invests in Virgin Mobile Colombia

December 18, 2012—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is investing up to $14 million in Virgin Mobile Colombia to accelerate the company’s entry into the country’s telecommunications market, encourage competition and innovation, and expand access to affordable voice and broadband services.Continue reading “IFC Invests in Virgin Mobile Colombia”

Aurus acquires office building assets from Union Investment (en español)

(Economia y Negocios) December 14, 2012 – Aurus acquires office building assets worth US$125mil from Union Investment

(Economia y Negocios) December 14, 2012 – El mayor negocio inmobiliario del año y uno de los más importantes de la historia local. Esas características tiene la operación que protagonizó la administradora de fondos Aurus que ayer oficializó la adquisición de los cinco edificios de oficinas que puso en venta en Chile la alemana Union Investment.Continue reading “Aurus acquires office building assets from Union Investment (en español)”

IFC Capitalization Fund Invests $100M in Banco G&T Continental to Support SME’s in Central America

(IFC) December  13, 2012—IFC Capitalization Fund, a fund  managed  by  IFC  Asset Management  Company, signed an investment in Guatemala-based Banco  G&T  Continental,  a  key  player in  Guatemala’s financial sector with operations in El Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama. Continue reading “IFC Capitalization Fund Invests $100M in Banco G&T Continental to Support SME’s in Central America”

Darby Backs Logistics and Cargo Operator in Ecuador

(PEHub) December 3, 2012 – Darby Private Equity, the private equity arm of Franklin Templeton Investments, announced that Darby Latin American Mezzanine Fund II, L.P. (“DLAMF II”) completed an investment in Tabacarcen S.A. Tababela Cargo Center (“Tabacarcen”), the logistics and cargo operator at the new Mariscal Sucre airport in Quito, Ecuador.Continue reading “Darby Backs Logistics and Cargo Operator in Ecuador”