Portland Private Equity plans to raise US$300 million (J$28.2b) to finance a series of regional investments.
These transactions are slated to occur this year via its Caribbean Fund, according to disclosures by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which is among the targeted backers of the fund.
"The Fund is seeking to raise up to US$300 million and a first close of US$100 million is expected to take place by mid-2013," said IFC.
The proposed IFC investment is in the form of equity of up to US$20 million in Portland Caribbean Fund II. The 10-year closed-end fund is seeking to raise money in six to 10 companies in various sectors predominantly in the Caribbean with an option of investment up to 20 per cent in Central America or Colombia.
The sectors include financial services, infrastructure/energy, ICT, agribusiness, consumer-oriented/retail, health care and property.
The IFC said PCF-II fund will be managed by Michael Lee-Chin's Portland Private Equity through its subsidiary AIC International, which currently manages the US$225-million AIC Caribbean Fund I. Portland's team is led by three managing partners, Robert Almeida, Douglas Hewson and Joe Vescio.
Local investments made by Portland include National Commercial Bank Jamaica, Advantage General Insurance and Columbus Communications, which operates as Flow. Portland indicates that since acquiring control of NCB in 2002, its profits grew by a factor of 24 from some US$6 million in 2001 to US$145 million in 2011; and that it transformed loss-making AGI to a profitable insurance company.
"Through our cumulative investment experience we have gained an understanding of how to exploit the strategic position of the Caribbean and Central America as gateways to larger markets," says Portland on its website.