Mexican pensions give Macquarie $268m

The proceeds comprise $408m of initial commitments the firm has raised for its Mexican infrastructure fund, which was formally launched today. Macquarie has structured the fund as two separate trusts in order to facilitate the participation of the seven Mexican pensions.

Macquarie Group has formally launched its Mexican infrastructure fund, scooping up Ps.$5.2 billion (€280 million; $408 million) in initial commitments, including Ps.$3.42 billion ($268 million) from seven Mexican pension funds, according to a press release.

Macquarie structured the fund, Fondo Infrastructura Macquarie Mexico, as two separate trusts in order to facilitate the participation of the pensions, which, under Mexican law, could only invest in the fund through listed debt securities called certificados bursatiles.

On 17 December 2009, the fund listed 34,150,000 of the securities on the Mexican Stock Exchange at a par value of Ps.$100 each, according to an offering document lodged with the Mexican Stock Exchange. The proceeds, approximately Ps.$3.42 billion, were raised from the seven undisclosed Mexican pensions and placed in a trust which will co-invest in the fund’s assets alongside a second, unlisted trust.

The unlisted trust comprises, so far, of about Ps.$1.8 billion in seed commitments. The commitments came from Macquarie, which committed Ps.$750 million, and FONADIN, Mexico’s national Infrastructure Fund, which committed Ps.$1.04 billion. FONADIN has also agreed to invest up to a total of Ps.$3 billion as a cornerstone investor in the fund, according to the press release.

Macquarie Mexican Infrastructure Fund: structured to accommodate Mexican pensions
Source: Macquarie Mexican Infrastructure Fund offering document

Macquarie isn’t the first fund manager to raise money from institutional investors in the country using certificados bursatiles. In November, WAMEX Private Equity Management raised $55 million from Mexican institutional investors using a similar structure.

However, Macquarie is the first fund manager to raise Mexican institutional capital for infrastructure investments. The fund, which is targeting Ps.$15 billion in total commitments, is also the first peso-denominated fund solely focused on the infrastructure sector in Mexico, according to Macquarie.

The fund will target investments in roads and rail, airports and ports, energy and utilities, communications infrastructure and social infrastructure, according to a fund fact sheet provided by Macquarie.

The fund will seek to raise capital from international investors, who will be able to invest in the unlisted trust alongside Macquarie and FONADIN.

The fund is managed by Macquarie Capital, Macquarie’s investment banking division. Macquarie Capital set up an office in Mexico City in January 2009. Macquarie senior managing director Mark Ramsey heads the fund, which has a team of about 12 people.

The fund isn’t Macquarie’s first foray into the Mexican infrastructure landscape. In 2006, the company unsuccessfully bid on toll roads being auctioned off by the Mexican government in its FARAC asset monetisation scheme. It also advised itself and joint venture partner IDEAL on the transaction, which was led by Macquarie executive director Chris Voyce.

The Mexican government used the proceeds from the toll road auctions in part to create FONADIN, which was established by Mexican President Felipe Calderon in February 2008 as a way to stimulate investment in the country’s infrastructure.