Taking business forward is at the heart of our culture. Wherever we are around the world, we strive to release the potential of our portfolio companies, working alongside our management teams to build successful and sustainable businesses for the long term. By nature proactive and entrepreneurial as an organization, we are continually seeking innovative ways to bring more to companies that just capital.
2012 was a successful year for Advent, particularly in terms of investment and fundraising activity. We invested $4.3 billion to acquire 12 businesses in seven countries and deployed $200 million more to support existing portfolio companies. Our investments spanned a range of transactions by type and size within our chosen sectors. We realized $2.2 billion in proceeds from various liquidity events, including IPOs and sales of companies to strategic buyers.
During the year, we launched and successfully completed fundraising for our seventh global private equity fund, GPE VII. With total commitments of $10.8 (€8.5) billion, it was the world’s largest buyout fund launched and closed in the last four years at the time of closing. We are pleased with this outcome and encouraged by the support we received throughout the process.
A continued focus on driving earnings growth in portfolio companies through revenue-growth and operational-improvement initiatives resulted in revenue and EBITDA growing an average of 11% and 13%, respectively, across the unrealized portfolio in 2012.
As part of our ongoing effort to develop our organization, we added over 30 employees to the global Advent team in 2012, with a particular emphasis on our Portfolio Support Group. We also continued to invest heavily in staff training and financial, compliance and administrative operations. In September we established a fully operational local team in Shanghai, with the official opening scheduled for April, 2013, further expanding our global capabilities.
Our investment pace in North America was strong, with five new deals completed during the year. The largest investment, Serta Simmons, comprises two of the leading and fastest-growing global mattress makers and offers the potential for growth driven by industry dynamics, share gain and geographic expansion. TransUnion, a leading credit information provider, also has significant growth prospects, particularly in international markets. Connolly, which offers recovery audit services to health insurers and government health organizations, will seek to expand into new customer segments and deliver innovative services to its clients.
Of the seven full or partial exits in North America last year, the three most significant were the sale of Party City and the IPOs of Vantiv and Five Below. During our ownership, Party City made four acquisitions, expanded its product lines and broadened its international presence. We re-invested in the company to continue to capitalize on additional growth opportunities. Vantiv (NYSE: VNTV) completed an IPO in March and a secondary offering in August, while Five Below (NASDAQ: FIVE), went public in July and completed a secondary offering in February 2013. Since the IPOs, Vantiv’s stock price has risen 40%, and Five Below’s price has increased 123%.
Additionally, in March 2013, we agreed to sell our stake in ABC Supply back to the company after a period of significant value creation highlighted by the successful integration of another business that we owned, Bradco Supply.
Despite continued volatility and low M&A activity in Western Europe, we made three promising investments in the region last year. KMD, Denmark’s leading software and IT services provider, is well-positioned to capitalize on positive trends in its core markets and enter new high-growth segments. We are working with Maxam, the world’s third-largest civil explosives company, to rationalize its operations after a period of strong growth and acquisitions and increase its presence in emerging markets. DOUGLAS HOLDING AG, a leading European retail conglomerate, will look to build value by driving growth in its perfumery and jewelry subsidiaries and repositioning its books business. We have also closed two other European transactions so far in 2013.
Highlighting our European exit activity in 2012 was the sale of Nukem to Cameco, completing our exit from the highly successful RWE Solutions investment. Another successful exit involved the sale of Stokomani, which during our ownership more than doubled in size through strong organic growth and a twofold increase in its number of stores.
While the macro environment remained challenging across Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), our operational focus and access to the wider Advent platform provided an advantage in sourcing new investments and sustaining value in existing companies. Our CEE team co-invested alongside our German team in the tender offer for European retail conglomerate DOUGLAS HOLDING AG which has opportunities to expand further into Central Europe. The Polish team also acquired Eko Holding S.A., owner of the Polish supermarket chain EKO, listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. The company has significant store rollout, professionalization and consolidation potential.
In terms of CEE exits, we completed the sale of our remaining shares in FleetCor Technologies (NYSE: FLT) in the public market. Meanwhile, strong earnings growth at Polish educational publisher WSiP, enabled the company to recapitalize its debt and distribute excess cash to shareholders.
2012 saw a resurgence of our Mexican investment activity and significant realizations across the region. In November, we acquired a stake in InverCap Holdings, whose main subsidiary, Afore InverCap, is the largest independent mandatory pension fund administrator in Mexico. The plan is to accelerate the growth of assets under management by improving sales force productivity and accessing new sales channels. In March, we made a follow-on investment in Brazilian education company Kroton to help fund its acquisition of Unopar, the largest distance-learning player in Brazil. The deal catapulted Kroton from the No. 4 to No. 1 position in the market.
On the exit front, we sold a significant portion of our shares in Kroton and restaurant chain International Meal Company through block trades and secondary offerings in Brazil. We also sold our remaining stock in global travel retailer Dufry, capping a very successful investment. Finally, Latin American Airport Holdings, which operates several airports in the region, completed a recapitalization, andwe received a dividend payment from Brazilian container port operator TCP.
With the Asia-Pacific region continuing to show strong economic growth in 2012, the Mumbai team completed our investment in CARE Hospitals, the fifth-largest tertiary care hospital chain in India. The deal was rare in the country as a majority transaction. We are working with management to create value by improving facilities, strengthening non-cardiac departments and pursuing acquisitions in this fragmented, high-growth market.