ICA, CDPQ to launch Mexican road-infrastructure joint venture

Empresas ICA, the largest infrastructure and construction company in Mexico, said on Friday that it is planning a massive Mexican toll road and highway concessions project with CDPQ, one of Canada’s leading fund managers, covering 269 miles of highway across the country.

CDPQ said the final plan calls for creating an operations platform that would own concessions for four of ICA’s operational toll roads and highways.

The operational platform, ICA Operadora de Vías Terrestres ("ICA OVT"), is a newly formed joint venture company. ICA transferred its ownership interest in the concessionaires for the four projects to ICA OVT. Under the terms of the transaction, ICA will own 51 percent of the platform and CDPQ 49 percent. For its equity interest, CDPQ is paying ICA 196.3 million, which will in turn be used principally to prepay ICA's short-term corporate debt.

The two companies will focus on the operation and acquisition of road infrastructure in Mexico, but ICA will continue to be responsible for the operation of construction and maintenance projects.

 "ICA is pleased to form this partnership with CDPQ, a world-class fund manager," Alonso Quintana, ICA's CEO, said. "This transaction enables ICA to monetize a significant portion of our investment in these mature assets and redeploy the capital to reduce corporate debt and fund our investments in the next wave of infrastructure development that is occurring in Mexico. This transaction represents the first step in the creation of a platform that, by incorporating other similar assets as they mature, will allow us to continue to grow in a balanced manner, while at the same time systematically reducing our leverage and creating value for ICA shareholders."

"By partnering with ICA, a true industry leader, we are doing more than simply investing in four Mexican highway projects,"  Macky Tall, CDPQ's senior vice president for private equity and infrastructure, said. "We are creating a long-term operational platform to foster our participation in major projects that have a direct impact on the economy, while generating attractive returns for our clients,"