Macquarie scores first Mexican project

The Australian investor has been named preferred bidder for the FARAC III road concession, its first Mexican project following its recent first close on its debut Mexican infrastructure fund. FARAC III is expected to be officially awarded in three weeks time.

Roughly two months after Macquarie reached first close for its debut Mexican infrastructure fund, the Australian investor is on track to win its first Mexican infrastructure project – the FARAC III road concession.

Macquarie: investment
in Mexico is paying-off

Mexico’s transport ministry (SCT) should announce the final award of the 30-year contract by mid-April to the winning consortium, which is equally owned by Macquarie, Portugal’s Ascendi – the joint venture between construction firm Mota-Engil and bank BES – and Brazilian toll road operator CCR, Ascendi said in a statement to the Portuguese stock exchange.

FARAC III is a real toll scheme covering some 291 kilometres of road in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, along the border with Texas. The package includes 188 kilometres of brownfield and 31 kilometres of greenfield roads. It includes roads to maintain and operate, roads to build and roads that will be delivered by the procuring authority after the construction phase.

The project’s total investment cost amounts to around Ps.$8.4 billion (€488 million; $667 million), but Ps.$4.51 billion will be financed by state infrastructure bank BANOBRAS and government infrastructure fund FONADIN. The winning consortium is expected to inject some Ps.$1.84 billion of equity into the project with the remainder likely to be financed with debt. Capex on FARAC III comprises Ps.$3.76 billion of the total investment amount with works to be finished by 2013.

Macquarie formally launched its Mexican infrastructure fund in mid-January, scooping up Ps.$5.2 billion in initial commitments, including Ps.$3.42 billion from seven Mexican pension funds. 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.