The real estate arm of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) announced today that it has acquired an (undisclosed) ownership interest in Mexico Retail Properties (MRP), according to a Reuters report.
Founded in December 2001, MRP is a Mexican company affiliated with Denver-based real estate private equity firm Black Creek Group (BCG). MRP develops, builds, and manages shopping malls (centros comerciales) and other retail properties in Mexico. BCG’s website also indicates that BCG is affiliated with Corporate Properties of the Americas, an “institutionally owned industrial property company operating throughout Mexico” that “has invested over US$1 billion in Mexican industrial real estate” since its inception in 1998. The managing principals of Black Creek Group include John Blumberg, Jim Mulvihill, Tom Wattles, and Evan Zucker.
Based on a Denver Business Journal report, it appears that The Blackstone Group’s Equity International Properties Ltd., which was founded by Chicago real estate mogul Sam Zell and sold by Zell to Blackstone, made an investment of approximately $42 million in MRP in early 2004.
There is significant interest among investors in commercial retail real estate in Mexico, thanks in large part to Mexico’s emerging middle class. Oralé!
On May 22, 2008, British-European private equity fund Aureos Capital closed a $5 million investment in Mexican transportation equipment leasing company Analistas de Recursos Globales, S.A. de C.V. (ARG) through its Aureos Latin America Fund (ALAF). ALAF is a $300 million fund that targets Mexico, the Central America Region and the Andean Region. The press release said that “ARG, which started operations in 2001, provides operating leases of transportation equipment like automobiles, trailers and specialized vehicles and provides fleet management services for companies. It focuses on small and medium-sized Mexican companies that find it difficult to obtain leasing contracts through commercial banks.”
According to its website, Aureos Capital was established in 2001 as a global private equity fund manager specialized in providing expansion and buy-out capital to unlisted mid-cap businesses in emerging markets. Aureos aims to double funds under management to US$ 1.2 billion in the next 2 years, and will launch new funds in Latin America, Central Asia, and Pan Africa.