Macquarie accesses Mexican pensions for capital

Last year, WAMEX Private Equity collected $55m from Mexican pensions for a listed vehicle that will invest alongside a traditional private equity fund.

Macquarie has raised money from Mexican pensions for a listed fund, taking advantage of a rule change that allows Mexican pensions to commit to private investment vehicles.

Seven Mexican pensions, known as Afores, have committed Ps.$3.42 billion (€185 million; $268 million) to an infrastructure fund run by Macquarie Group. The investment follows the first-ever commitments made by Mexican institutional investors late last year to private equity, a $55 million commitment in WAMEX Private Equity Management made by 18 pensions. 

The pensions are taking advantage of a newly created structure in Mexico allowing state pensions to invest in private funds. Under Mexican law, pensions can only invest in private equity funds through listed debt securities called certificados de capital de desarollo.

“We have been working for almost two years on opening up the framework so these pension funds can invest in alternative assets,” WAMEX partner Jose Contreras told PEO at the time. “The way we were able to do it was to create a public trust” from which the manager can draw down capital, he said. “The regulatory bodies wanted to have corporate governance and full disclosure and the only way [they felt appropriate] to do that was through the stock exchange.”

The seven pensions have not been named. Macquarie structured the fund, Fondo Infrastructura Macquarie Mexico, as two separate trusts to allow the pensions to participate.

On 17 December 2009, the fund listed 34,150,000 of the securities on the Mexican Stock Exchange at a par value of Ps.$100 each, according to an offering document lodged with the Mexican Stock Exchange. The proceeds, approximately Ps.$3.42 billion, were raised from the seven undisclosed pensions and placed in a trust that will co-invest in the fund’s assets alongside a second, unlisted fund.

Macquarie is targeting Ps.$15 billion total for the Mexican infrastructure fund.

Last year, WAMEX raised $55 million for a Mexican Stock Exchange-listed vehicle that will invest alongside a traditional private equity fund. The two funds will collectively make up the firm’s Multinational Industrial Fund II, which has a target of $120 million.