(Dow Jones Newswires) January 19, 2012 – Banco Santander Brasil SA (BSBR, SANB4.BR) on Thursday said it has spun off its private equity operations into a new company, with assets of some 1.3 billion Brazilian reais ($735 million) to invest in infrastructure, and with plans to raise BRL800 million to invest in oil and gas.
Santander, a unit of Spain’s Banco Santander SA (SAN.MC, STD), in a statement said the move reflects a global trend, which will provide more transparency and reduce conflicts of interest between its banking and private equity business.
The new company, Mantiq Investimentos, takes its name from the Serra da Mantiqueira, a chain of mountains which runs for several hundred miles between the states of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais, according to Geoffrey Cleaver, one of the members of the management team.
Mantiq will take over two funds which Santander has been managing for some time: InfraBrasil Fundo de Investimentos em Participacoes, which has some BRL900 million invested in energy, logistics and sanitation, and FIP Caixa Ambiental, which has some BRL400 million invested in renewable power and sanitation, Cleaver said.
The company is also in the process of closing two funds to invest in the service companies which supply Brazil’s booming oil and gas sector, according to one of Mantiq’s investment managers, Geoffrey Cleaver. FIP Brasil Petroleo I, which is targeting Brazilian pension funds, is being established in partnership with Mare Investimentos, and Cleaver said it should close by the end of this month.
At the same time, Mantiq is also raising funds for FIP Brasil Petroleo II, which is directed more towards individual investors, and should close by the end of February, Cleaver said.
Together, the two funds should have about BRL800 million to invest, Cleaver said.
The other members of the Mantiq asset management team are Marcos Matioli, Gustavo Peixoto and Carlos Correa, according to the statement.
By Matthew Cowley