Infrastructure Investor Awards 2020: Latin America

The tie-up between two Canadian pensions to purchase a 40% in a Mexican infrastructure group scooped Deal of the Year in Latin America.

Deal of the Year


SECOND PLACE: Autopistas Metropolitanas de Puerto Rico
THIRD PLACE: Scala Data Centers

Two titans of Canada’s finance industry – Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan – partnered to acquire a 40 percent stake in Mexican infrastructure group Impulsora del Desarrollo y el Empleo en America Latina for an estimated $2.2 billion. IDEAL, which is involved in the construction and management of highways and water facilities in Mexico, gives the Canadian pension funds exposure to a transport company that could be poised for growth amid strengthening ties for regional trade. The deal expands the institutional heavyweights’ Mexico partnership, the pair having previously joined up to invest in the country’s Acro Norte and Pacifico Sur toll roads.

Renewables Deal of the Year

WINNER: Zuma Energia (State Power Investment Corporation, China)

THIRD PLACE: Ceiba Energy

China’s investment interest in Latin American infrastructure continued when in November the state-owned State Power Investment Corporation purchased the Mexican independent power producer Zuma Energia. With 818 MW of installed capacity, Zuma, which was created in 2014 with the backing of London-based fund manager Actis and Globeleq Mesoamerica Energy, is reported to be Mexico’s largest renewable energy company. Earning second place is Cubico Sustainable Investments’ acquisition of the 50MW Astidey wind farm in Uruguay, the firm’s second purchase in the country, while Denham Capital’s $250 million equity stake in clean energy developer Ceiba Energy takes third spot.

Hyperscale: Digital Colony headed into LatAm

Digital Infrastructure Deal of the Year

WINNER: Scala Data Centers (Digital Colony)

SECOND PLACE: AT&T wireless assets
THIRD PLACE: Axtel data centres

Any investor interested in digital infrastructure opportunities in Latin America should take note that Digital Colony has set up shop in the region. In April, the Colony Capital portfolio company acquired some data centre assets in São Paulo, Brazil, from UOL Diveo as the seeding for a hyperscale data centre platform company called Scala. “Hyperscale data centres are more in need than ever,” commented Jon Mauck, managing director of Digital Colony, when the deal was announced. “The business is ideally positioned to support the growth of cloud and IT outsourcing across Latin America.”

Transport Deal of the Year

WINNER: Concesión Costera Cartagena Barranquilla (ISA INTERVIAL Chile)

THIRD PLACE: Piracicaba-Panorama highway

In October, ISA Group subsidiary ISA INTERVAL Chile completed the acquisition of 100 percent of Concesión Costera Cartagena Barranquilla. The concession comprises 146km of roads in a key international and tourist commerce corridor in northern Colombia, and was acquired for an enterprise value of $577 million. The deal marks its entry into the Colombian roads market. Commenting on the purchase at the time, ISA chief executive Bernardo Vargas Gibsone, said: “We hope this acquisition helps continue to contribute to the progress of the Caribbean region regarding the road infrastructure business.”