Brilla Reaches First Close for Colombian Hotel and Resorts Fund

Brilla Group, a Miami-based private equity firm focused on luxury hotel and resorts in South Florida, the Caribbean, México, Central America, and Colombia, has completed the first closing of its Colombian Beachfront Hospitality Private Equity Fund. The fund has raised US$30 million from Colombian institutions, including Bancoldex and local pension funds.

PRESS RELEASE

Brilla Group, a Miami-based private equity firm focused on the luxury beachfront hotel and resort asset class in South Florida, the Caribbean, México, Central America, and Colombia, completed the first closing for its Colombian Beachfront Hospitality Private Equity Fund on February 1st, 2012. This local vehicle, regulated by the Colombian Financial Superintendent (Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia) and administered by Fiduciaria Bancolombia, has US$30 million in committed equity from Colombian institutions, including Bancoldex (Colombia’s Foreign Trade Bank) and local pension funds.

This Fund, which will invest in the region known as the Colombian Caribbean corridor, is the first such fund in the country dedicated exclusively to investment in luxury hospitality assets. The Fund has eight years to invest both in operational luxury hotels and in new hotel construction, and will pursue joint ventures with local and international investors as well as work with local and international hotel brands.

The Fund will follow the guidelines of Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA), an international organization, the purpose of which is to offer tools for training, research, best practices, private equity investment processes, and regulating the guiding principles between limited and general partners to guarantee transparency and alignment of interests.

“Colombia has become a major economic player in the region: foreign direct investment (FDI) alone has brought in a total of US$7 billion in the first half of 2011, an increase of 91%, and tourism has grown at a rate of 10.6% annually, four times higher than the global growth rate,” said David Brillembourg, Chairman & CEO of Brilla Group. “We saw Colombia as a premier investment market due to the scarce hotel supply to satisfy the growing demand, especially in the luxury hospitality sector. This imbalance combined with a strong economy, continuous sustainable growth, and stable government creates an excellent investment opportunity in our asset class,” added Mr. Brillembourg, who also affirmed that the Fund represents a milestone for Brilla Group as its first investment vehicle backed by institutional capital.

The Fund will be administered by Fiduciaria Bancolombia S.A., of Grupo Bancolombia CIB +0.11% (bvc:BCOLOMBIA Y PFBCOLOM), a Latin American financial group seeking to establish lasting relationships based on trust and respect. Grupo Bancolombia offers a wide portfolio of products and services to its nearly seven million individual and institutional clients, through a regional platform that comprises the largest banking network in Colombia.

“Private equity investors’ interest in Colombia has grown exponentially in the last few years,” said Fuad Velasco, President of Fiduciaria Bancolombia. “Brilla Group was early to recognize this market opportunity, and worked diligently to raise institutional capital and create a sophisticated investment vehicle in line with international standards, to provide investors with the best possible investment option. Hence, we consider Brilla Group to be an ideal general partner to work with and manage the fund.”

Brilla Group is currently raising a second tranche of the Fund (closing July 2012), which is open to both individual and institutional investors.

About Brilla Group

Brilla Group is a Miami-based real estate private equity firm focused exclusively on the luxury beachfront hotel and resort asset class in South Florida, the Caribbean, México, Central America, and Colombia. Brilla Group specializes in creating tailored investment solutions for institutional investors, high-net-worth individuals and family offices, and currently has US$150 million of assets under management. Brilla Group has closed investments in México, The Bahamas, French West Indies, British West Indies, Miami Beach and Bal Harbour (Florida); Brilla Group has also closed a Colombian-based institutional private equity fund dedicated to the sector.

About Fiduciaria Bancolombia

Fiduciaria Bancolombia S.A. is the largest fiduciary company in the Colombian Market with approximately US$25 billion in assets under management, 7 private equity funds (aum:US$941.5 million), 13 mutual funds (AUM US$4.05 billion) and more than 900 trusts are under administration of Fiduciaria Bancolombia.

SOURCE: Brilla Group