IFM completes Conmex acquisition

The Australian fund manager has completed the acquisition of a 24.99% stake in Mexico City’s ring road operator, finalising its first transaction in Mexico.

IFM Investors has completed the acquisition of a 24.99 percent stake in Organizacion de Proyectos de Infraestructura (OPI), which owns Conmex, operator of a 110-kilometre private toll road network in the northeastern part of Mexico City, the Australian fund manager said in a statement.

The transaction also included the acquisition of a 24.99 percent stake in OPCEM, a newly-created company responsible for the operation and maintenance of the toll road – Circuito Exterior Mexiquense (CEM) – which has been operating since 2005 with a remaining concession length of about 36 years. The deal is IFM's first in the country.

The Melbourne-based fund manager realised the MXN9.2 billion (€533.2 million; $596.7 million) transaction through its Global Infrastructure Fund, a single pool that comprises a diversified, open-ended portfolio of core infrastructure assets, focusing primarily on Europe and North America. 

The fund has various feeder funds for US, UK, Canadian and Australian investors. As of September 30, 2014, the fund had a net asset value (including uncalled commitments) of $10.8 billion, according to market sources.

For OHL Mexico, which will retain the remaining 75.01 percent equity interest in both OPI and OPCEM, “the transaction represents a key step forward […] that is consistent with the group’s strategy of asset rotation,” according to the statement. The transaction also boosts OHL Mexico’s financial capacity and will allow the company to invest in other concession projects in Mexico as opportunities arise.

In addition to being one of the largest operators of private transportation infrastructure in Mexico – the company’s portfolio includes seven toll road concessions – OHL Mexico also owns a 49 percent stake in the concessionaire of Toluca Airport, the second-largest airport serving the Mexico City metropolitan area.

Launched in 2003, OHL Mexico is directly controlled by OHL Concessions of Spain, one of the largest companies in transportation infrastructure worldwide, according to the statement.

Founded more than 20 years ago and owned by 30 major Australian pension funds, IFM’s total assets under management stood at $43 billion as of March 31, 2015. Of the total, approximately $20 billion is invested in infrastructure equity and debt assets.