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Advent raises US$13b global buyout fund, beating expectations

[LONDON] Private-equity firm Advent International Corp has raised US$13 billion for its latest fund, exceeding a US$12 billion fundraising target in spite of escalating market turmoil.

One of the world's larger buyout firms, Advent took just six months to secure the money for its eighth fund, according to a statement on Tuesday. In 2012, it raised US$10.8 billion for its last global investment vehicle.

Boston-based Advent, whose investments have included German perfume chain Douglas and treatment and rehabilitation business Priory Group, said that around 90 per cent of the money came from investors in previous funds.

The fund, which was named GPE VIII, will focus on business and financial services, healthcare, industrial, retail and consumer, and technology, media and telecommunications, areas where Advent has considerable "experience and knowledge," the statement said. The type of investments that GPE VIII will make include buyouts, recapitalizations and growth equity deals.

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The fundraising effort comes as the global economy struggles with slowing growth in China and other regions, political instability in some emerging market nations and doubts over the strength of the US economic recovery.

Around 20 per cent of the new funds, or US$2.6 billion, will be used for investments outside Europe and United States. Latin America will be the priority among emerging markets, Patrice Etlin, Advent's managing partner for Latin America, told Reuters in an interview.

Last year Advent raised US$2.1 billion for Latin American investments, a record for the region. Mr Etlin said Brazil presents "today the greatest number of investment opportunities in the region," adding that some deals could be jointly funded by GPE VIII and the Latin Americanm vehicle, known as LAPEF VI.

In Brazil, Advent owns stakes in International Meal Company Alimentação SA, a company that runs restaurants and in apparel brand and retailer firm Restoque SA.