TPG Said to Trim Staff in Brazil and to Consider Closing Office

  • Private-equity firm’s last acquisition there came in 2010
  • Denis Jungerman, head of the office, said to be leaving firm

TPG Capital, the private-equity firm founded by Jim Coulter and David Bonderman, is cutting staff in Brazil and may close its office there amid a lack of investments, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

The firm, whose main offices are in San Francisco and Fort Worth, Texas, has announced the decision to wind down operations in Brazil to its employees, the people said, asking not to be named because the decision is private. TPG opened its Sao Paulo office in 2011.

TPG hasn’t acquired a Brazilian firm since 2010. The head of the Sao Paulo office, TPG partner Denis Jungerman, is leaving, the people said. Abel Halpern, a partner at the London office, will oversee investments in Brazil, one of the people said. TPG declined to comment on the moves and Jungerman didn’t reply to e-mails seeking comment.

Buyout firms see signs that dealmaking activity in Brazil is poised for a comeback. Total announced acquisitions of Brazilian companies have fallen 32 percent this year from the same period in 2015 to $14.5 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Deals involving private-equity firms were even more affected, with the total falling 73 percent to $729 million, the data show. 

TPG’s staff in Sao Paulo presented acquisition opportunities to the investment committee over the years the office was open, but none resulted in a deal, one of the people said.

Among TPG investments in Brazil was the acquisition in 2010 of a 12.5 percent stake in Rumo Logistica SA for 200 million reais (then $115 million). TPG’s Halpern remains a member of the board at the company, now called Rumo Logistica Operadora Multimodal SA. TPG participated in a capital increase of 2.6 billion reais in April for the company to restructure 2.9 billion reais in debt.

TPG also bought in 2010 a 10 percent stake in Azul Linhas Aereas Brasileiras, the airline founded by David Neeleman, for $30 million.

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