Macquarie Mexican infra fund inks debut deal

The Macquarie Mexican Infrastructure Fund will acquire a company with a 20-year contract to reconstruct and maintain highways in the Mexican state of Durango. The firm has also placed Macquarie executives Martin Stanley and Chris Leslie on its board.

Macquarie’s Mexican fund, one of the first such vehicles to raise money from pensions in Mexico, has inked its first deal, according to a regulatory filing.

The Macquarie Mexican Infrastructure Fund has agreed to acquire Desarrollos Carreteros del Estado de Durango (Decarred), a company responsible for maintaining highways in the state of Durango, the filing said. 

Macquarie did not disclose financial details of the transaction in the filing but said the acquisition and financing are subject to government authorisation and other conditions.

Martin Stanley

A person familiar with the firm said the deal will be the first for the fund, which held a first close on $408 million almost a year ago. The fund bid on a toll road concession earlier this year with Portuguese transport firm Ascendi and Brazilian toll road operator CCR but Mexican authorities rejected all the offers for the concession, FARAC III, in March.

Decarred has a 20-year contract to reconstruct, maintain and preserve 10 toll-free highway stretches in Durango. No additional information about the concessions was provided.

Decarred is owned by Rostec de México and Carreteras y Tecnología en Concretos, which have agreed to sell 100 percent of their stakes in the company to Macquarie Mexican Infrastructure Fund.    

Macquarie’s Mexican fund held a first close in January on Ps.$5.2 billion (€280 million; $408 million) in commitments.  Macquarie contributed Ps.$750 million to the fund and FONADIN, Mexico’s national infrastructure fund, which committed Ps. $1.04 billion. FONADIN also agreed to invest Ps.$3 billion as a cornerstone investor, Macquarie said in a statement at the time. 

The fund also raised money from Mexican pensions via a trust that listed on the Mexican stock exchange last December. According to Mexican law, pension funds cannot invest directly in a private fund, and so Macquarie issued listed securities, called certificados bursatiles, through which it raised $268 million from seven Mexican pension funds. 

The Macquarie Mexican Infrastructure Fund was the first peso-denominated fund focused solely on infrastructure investment in Mexico, Macquarie said at the time. 

In related news, the Macquarie Mexican Infrastructure Fund said in a recent regulatory filing that two members of its management board, John Roberts and former Mexican fund executive chairman Stephen Mentzines, are stepping down. They are being replaced with executives Martin Stanley and Christopher Leslie.

Stanley is the global head of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, the Macquarie division responsible for managing the fund.  Leslie is the executive director and executive committee member of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, according to the filing, and also heads up Macquarie’s unlisted infrastructure business in the US, Macquarie Infrastructure Partners.