Boston private equity firm Advent International has raised $2.1 billion for a fund that will focus on investing in Latin American businesses, during the best fundraising environment we've seen in years. The fund is the largest ever raised for Latin America, according to Advent.

The fund, Advent Latin American Private Equity Fund VI, reached its hard cap with less than six months in the market. Advent's previous Latin America fund closed with $1.65 billion in commitments in 2010.

"Latin America continues to be an attractive region in which to invest. It is a large, growing market with an expanding middle class, opportunities for productivity enhancement, a high degree of family ownership and limited competition from other financial sponsors relative to the size of the markets," says Advent managing partner Patrice Etlin (pictured).

The new fund will make control-oriented investment in companies in Latin America, focusing on financial services, health care, infrastructure, retail, consumer and leisure businesses in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. With the latest fund close, Advent has raised a total of $6 billion specifically for investments in Latin America.

Investors include public and corporate pension funds, endowments and foundations, fund of funds, sovereign wealth funds, family offices and other financial institutions.

Advent's previous investments in Latin America include Ocensa, Colombia's largest crude oil pipeline; Dudalina, a Brazilian apparel manufacturer and retailer; and InverCap, a Mexican pension fund manager. The PE firm is also investing from its seventh global private equity fund, GPE VII, which has $10.8 billion in commitments and is focused on buyouts in Europe, North America and other markets. Advent has about $34 billion in assets under management and has invested in more than 290 companies since it was founded in 1984. The firm was one of the first to invest outside the U.S. 

The firm recently sold Vinnolit Holding GmbH for about $669 million to Westlake Chemical Corp. 

Several private equity firms have recently closed funds. In October, New Mountain Capital LLC closed a fund with $4.13 billion in commitments. In September, American Capital Ltd. (Nasdaq: ACAS) closed a private equity fund with $1.1 billion in commitments. 

For more on interest in Latin America, see Advisers Ramp Up Latin America Teams. For more on investing overseas, see 5 Buyers Find New Customers Abroad.

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