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Carlyle’s Mexico co-head joins Calderon cabinet

Luis Téllez, who helped establish the global buyout firm’s presence in Mexico in 2003, has left to take on the role of secretary of communications and transportation under the newly elected Mexican president.

Luis Téllez, who became a managing director at Washington, DC-based global private equity firm The Carlyle Groups Mexico City office in 2003 and helped co-lead the office, has left the firm to become the secretary of communications and transportation under Mexican President Felipe Calderon.

Calderon, who won the July election by a slim margin, was sworn into office on Friday, December 1. 

Carlyle opened its Mexico office in December of 2003. Téllez left a position as the executive vice president of DESC, a large Mexican company, to join the firm. He worked with Joaquin Avila, also a managing director, to lead the Mexico City office.

Téllez has extensive governmental experience. He was Mexico’s secretary of energy under former president Ernesto Zedillo from 1997 to 2000. In that position, he reformed Mexico’s electricity sector to open up involvement in the country’s generation, distribution and transmission of electricity, according to a Carlyle biography of Téllez that is no longer a part of the firm’s website.

Téllez was the head of Mexico’s oil efforts and “played a key role in restoring stability in international oil markets and oil prices,” the biography said.

Téllez also served as Zedillo’s chief of staff and was the minister of treasury and the governor of the Central Bank, a position in which he helped to secure a $50 billion grant from the US and major financial institutions, the Carlyle biography said.

Carlyle’s Mexico office made its debut investment in September of 2005 when it bought a majority share in Universidad Latinoamericana SC, a private university in Mexico, from the existing shareholders for an undisclosed amount. The group bought a majority stake Hispanic Teleservices Corp., a bilingual call-centre services provider, from JPMorgan Partners and Citigroup Venture Capital International, for an undisclosed amount in January.