Equity International buys stake in Brazil finance company

The Chicago-based firm has bought an 8.5% interest in Brazilian Finance & Real Estate. The São Paulo firm is involved in mortgage origination, securitisation and asset management.

Equity International has boosted its investment in Brazil buying an 8.5 percent stake in São Paulo-based finance company, Brazilian Finance & Real Estate.

Chicago-based Equity International said in a statement it had the option to acquire an extra 12.2 percent in BFRE, which is controlled by Ourinvest Real Estate Holding and hedge fund firm TPG-Axon Capital Management. No financial details were disclosed.

BFRE owns four subsidiaries including Brazilian Mortgages, BM Sua Casa, Brazilian Securities and Brazilian Capital. BM Sua Casa originates mortgages to homebuyers, while Brazilian Capital is an asset management firm and also manages a private equity real estate vehicle.

The deal boosts Equity International’s Brazilian portfolio companies to six, the firm said.

On Friday, Equity International co-founders Sam Zell and Gary Garrabrant both said they were still extremely “bullish” on real estate investments in the country.

The pair, who recently travelled to Morocco and Colombia to assess possible investments, told the Knowlegde@Wharton Road to Recovery real estate forum that Brazil had “scalable” opportunities and an aspirational, growing middle class that was helping fuel demand for real estate, across most property sectors but particularly residential.