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Aureos Takes Minority Stake in Peru’s Condor Travel

7 January 2011

(AltAssets) January 7, 2011 – Aureos Capital has acquired a 40 per cent interest in Peruvian tour operator Condor Travel as part of a management buy-out in which Sammy Niego, the company’s CEO, has increased his ownership to 51 per cent.

This is the Aureos Latin America Fund’s tenth investment in Latin America and its second in Peru.

Founded 34 years ago, Condor Travel counts 30,000 inbound tourists a year as customers, and has also expanded its outbound unit in recent years.

On top of its Peruvian operations in Lima and Cuzco, Condor has franchises in Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Brazil, and representative offices in Japan, USA, India, Australia and Russia.

After two decades marred by civil war and economic volatility, Peru’s has emerged as a one of the most dynamic economies in Latin America. The country’s GDP grew by an annual average of 6.7 per cent from 2002 to 2008, outpacing the likes of Brazil.

“Tourism has always been a sector of particular interest for Aureos, especially in Peru,” said Hector Martinez, investment principal of Aureos Peru Advisers.

“Condor Travel is a platform to capitalise on the considerable opportunities presented by the growth of tourism in Peru and the rest of the region.”

The country’s attractions include Inca sites like Machu Picchu – which celebrates the centenary of its rediscovery this year – as well as the enigmatic Nazca lines, visible only from the air; Colca Canyon, by some measures the world’s deepest; and the eco-tourism potential of the Amazon.

Established in 2001, Aureos Capital targets stakes in small and medium sized businesses and has portfolio companies in 50 countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The firm has $1.2bn in assets under management, and has established 16 regional private equity funds.