IFM makes Mexican move with $1.2bn OHL offer

Teaming up with OHL Mexico’s Spanish parent, the pair are looking to take full control of the firm and de-list it from Mexico’s stock exchange.

Australia-based IFM Investors has launched a tender offer for all of the shares of Mexican concession company OHL Mexico.

The move, made through IFM’s Global Infrastructure Fund, will see it join up with OHL Concesiones, the Spanish construction firm which owns 56.86 percent of OHL Mexico, to buy the remaining share capital at 27 pesos ($1.5; €1.4) per share. The total deal value is understood to be close to $1.2 billion.

It will be carried out through Magenta Infraestructura, a special purpose vehicle set up by IFM and OHL Concesiones, and OHL Mexico will subsequently be de-listed from the Mexican Stock Exchange. IFM said it will also provide a €400 million loan to the Mexican firm upon closing the deal.

The transaction would give IFM and OHL full control over concession portfolios in Mexico. The pool of assets includes seven toll road concessions – including one under construction – and a 49 percent interest in the Airport of Toluca.

Full control of the portfolio is believed to have attracted IFM, which already holds a stake in a project operated by OHL Concesiones. In April 2015, IFM paid the firm 9.2 billion pesos to buy a 24.99 percent interest in the operating company of Comnex, a 110km private toll road system in Mexico City. Some 18 months later, IFM increased its stake to 49 percent with a further 8.6 billion pesos investment.

OHL Mexico has been beset by corruption allegations in recent years, culminating in a 71.7 million pesos fine by Mexico’s financial regulator in March 2016, which noted inadequacies in its financial reporting.