Home » Billionaire Michael Lee-Chin’s firm snags $100 million for Caribbean business boost

Billionaire Michael Lee-Chin’s firm snags $100 million for Caribbean business boost

Lee-Chin affirms socially responsible focus for Portland Caribbean Fund III

by Mfonobong Nsehe
Michael Lee-Chin

Portland Private Equity, a global private equity fund management company founded and led by Michael Lee-Chin, a prominent Black billionaire, announced the successful first closing of its new fund, Portland Caribbean Fund III.

The firm raised $100 million, with a significant portion coming from the European Investment Bank (EIB), a key investor in Portland Private Equity’s previous endeavors. This aims to fortify Portland Private Equity’s investment efforts in the Caribbean region. 

The funds will be deployed to support small and mid-size high-growth companies across diverse sectors, including financial, communications, consumer, and hospitality. Notably, a key focus will be placed on businesses either run or owned by women.

Lee-Chin affirms socially responsible focus for Portland Caribbean Fund III

In a joint statement, Lee-Chin, chairman of Portland Private Equity, expressed the fund’s commitment to socially responsible investing. Lee-Chin stated, “Portland Caribbean Fund III will extend our firm’s leadership in key areas such as gender-lens investing and applying science-based climate targets to our investment operations. Portland Private Equity is proud of its long track record of doing good and doing well in this overlooked region.”

The EIB, a major contributor to the fund, expressed its commitment to fostering economic development in Caribbean countries. Ricardo Mourinho Felix, vice president of EIB, emphasized the importance of supporting small and medium-sized businesses, stating, “Through our support for the private sector, EIB Global aims to boost socioeconomic development, strengthen the equity ecosystem, and foster entrepreneurship in the region.”

Portland Caribbean Fund III faces headwinds, prepares for second phase with resilience

The $100 million secured represents the first phase of the fund, constituting less than a third of the targeted $350 million. Notably, EIB initially committed $35 million, with $25 million secured in the first round and the overall investment later increasing to $35 million, accounting for 10 percent of the expected fund size.

Portland Private Equity’s decision to break the fundraising into two phases reflects a strategic response to the challenging business cycle. The second phase of fundraising for Portland Caribbean Fund III is set to continue, with the firm maintaining an ambitious outlook despite the complexities of the current business environment.

With capital markets becoming riskier and investors growing more cautious amid global monetary tightening, the firm aims to navigate uncertainties effectively. Central banks worldwide have been increasing interest rates to curb inflation, posing challenges to fundraising efforts.

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