Oaktree Capital Management has made its first corporate acquisition in Latin America by taking a non-controlling stake in a familiar face.
The Los Angeles-based distressed debt shop announced that it has taken a 20 percent stake in Chile-based Singular, an investment manager and placement agent. The two entities will continue to operate under business as usual except that Oaktree can nominate one member to Singular’s board.
Oaktree and Singular began their partnership in 2012 after the former launched its emerging markets debt strategy. Singular has served as the firm’s placement agent for transactions in Chile and Peru for the last seven years and has placed more than $750 million across eight different funds, according to Singular’s website. Singular also raises and deploys its own funds in Latin America.
“We are very glad to take this next step in extending our relationship and deepening our commitment to Latin America,” Howard Marks, co-chairman of Oaktree, said in the firm’s press release.
Further details of the deal were not disclosed. Oaktree declined to comment.
Oaktree’s emerging markets strategy is an expansion of its signature distressed strategy. The emerging markets platform currently has more than $1.29 billion in assets under management, according to the firm’s website. The firm’s Oaktree Emerging Market Opportunities Fund garnered a 15.5 percent gross return and a 10.5 percent net return, according to the firm’s financial results from the end of the first quarter.
Fundraising and deployment of credit investments into Latin America has been on the rise, according to a recent report by the EMPEA and previous reporting by Private Debt Investor. Latin America-focused funds collected the second-highest amount of capital for emerging markets in 2018, only behind Asia. According to PDI data, debt vehicles currently fundraising for the region are targeting $1.79 billion.
Oaktree Capital Management was founded in 1995 and operates debt, equity and real estate strategies. The firm has more than $120 billion in assets under management.