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Dutch Pension Fund And Mitsubishi Buy In To Macquarie’s Mexican Wind Farm

24 February 2012

(Dow Jones) February 24, 2012 — As it wraps up about $700 million in new debt financing the Macquarie Mexican Infrastructure Fund’s massive wind farm project is getting two new majority owners, the company said. 

Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Corp. and the Dutch Pension fund manager PGGM are taking a combined 67.5% stake in the Marena Renovables wind farm, a 396 megawatt wind energy project in Oaxaca Mexico, from the Mexican bottling company, Fomento Economico Mexicano SAB de CV, and Macquarie Capital, the corporate advisory arm of the Macquarie Group.

The Macquarie Mexican Infrastructure Fund will retain the 32.5% stake it acquired when it first invested in the project in March 2011. 

In addition, a syndicate of Mexican and foreign commercial banks including Grupo Financiero Banorte, Grupo BBVA Bancomer, Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, HSBC, and Santander along with development banks like the Inter-American Development Bank, Banco Nacional de Obras y Servicios Publicos, and the Danish export credit agency are providing about $700 million in debt financing for the wind farm.

When it is finished, the Marena Renovables project will be the largest single-stage wind farm in Latin Ammerica, according to Macquarie Mexico Infrastructure Fund’s executive chairman, Jonathan Davis Arzac.

“Renewable energy is a big area of focus [for Macquarie],” said one person familiar with the firm’s investment plans. “There are a number of states in Mexico where there are high quality wind resources.”

Beyond wind, the person said that hydropower is another type of power project that the firm could invest in. “It is a developing market, but it is an area where there will be increasing focus,” the person said.

The wind farm is Macquarie Mexican Infrastructure Fund’s third investment in the country. In December 2010 the fund bought Desarrollos Carreteros del Estado de Durango, S.A. de C.V. (Decarred) from Rostec de México, S.A. de C.V. and Carreteras y Tecnología en Concretos, S.A. de C.V. for approximately US$125 million. Macquarie has also acquired a 90% stake in certain cell tower assets that were sold by Telefonica in September 2011.

“The good thing about Mexico is that there [are] opportunities across all sectors in infrastructure,” according to the person familiar with Macquarie’s investment plans.

He added that the country’s long history of private infrastructure investment has led to an abundance of secondary opportunities in sectors such as energy, transportation and social infrastructure.

Macquarie Mexican Infrastructure is investing from its first fund, which closed on approximately $410 million in January 2010. The fund has a $1 billion target.