Credit Suisse joint venture closes $300m Latin American fund

DLJ South America Partners' first fund has completed three investments to date, including participation in a club deal for Latin American and Caribbean McDonald’s restaurants.

DLJ South American Partners has closed its first fund on $300 million (€190 million) for investment in Latin America, with a focus on Argentina, Brazil and Chile.

DLJ South American Partners is a joint venture established in December 2006 by Credit Suisse’s alternative investments division and a team of Latin American investment professionals led by Carlos Garcia and Marcelo Medeiros. Garcia previously headed the private equity activities of DLJ Merchant Banking in South America. Medeiros managed the Brazil Private Equity Fund established by Brazilian investment bank Banco Garantia, which was bought by Credit Suisse in 1998.

“Latin America remains a largely untapped region,” said Garcia and Medeiros in a statement.

The fund has completed three investments to date. The DLJ venture, alongside other investors, formed Arcos Dorados for the purpose of acquiring the master franchise of McDonald’s restaurants in Latin American and the Caribbean. The group also acquired Brazilian trade show promotion company Fispal and is the largest shareholder of Brazilian education company EBEC.

Investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette or DLJ was acquired by Credit Suisse in 2000 for approximately $11.5 billion. Credit Suisse continues to use the DLJ brand for its private equity operations.

From 2006 to 2007, fundraising for investment in Latin America grew by 66 percent to $4.4 billion, according to the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association.