Mexican construction company ICA and partner Goldman Sachs placed a package of toll highways on the stock market on Friday, the first use of a new investment vehicle meant to boost financing for infrastructure projects.
ICA said it placed 6.55 billion pesos ($477 million) in equity-linked structured notes with Mexican institutional investors at 77 pesos each.
The notes, to be listed under RCOCB09=MX, are structured exclusively for institutional investors, particularly the country's private pension funds.
The securities were issued by Red de Carreteras de Occidente, owned by ICA and Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners, known as GSIP.
As well as the listing, ICA and GSIP are increasing their capital in the venture by about 2 billion pesos, leaving GSIP with a 55 percent stake, ICA with about 14 percent and remaining securities available on the market.
Mexico sold ICA and Goldman Sachs Group Inc the package of highway concessions, including their construction, operation and tolls, in 2007 as part of a program to channel more private investment into infrastructure development.
President Felipe Calderon has promised to build more highways, ports and other infrastructure to make Mexico more competitive and create jobs to offset a deep recession.
But the economic slump and tight lending conditions have forced many infrastructure projects, such as the plan to build the $5 billion Punta Colonet port on the Baja California peninsula, to be postponed or downsized.
Around the world, governments have had mixed success giving investors a taste of what have traditionally been public revenues.
Chicago sold the rights to manage an 8-mile toll road in 2005, but has suffered a public backlash for recently selling the right to collect from parking meters.
($1 = 13.74 pesos)
(Reporting by Patrick Rucker and Noel Randewich; editing by Andre Grenon)