BlackRock to Buy Mexico’s Infraestructura Institucional

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BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest money manager, agreed to buy Infraestructura Institucional, a Mexican infrastructure investment firm, to expand its presence in the country. Terms of the deal weren’t provided.

Infraestructura Institucional oversees about $1 billion of invested and committed capital, New York-based BlackRock said Friday in a statement. The purchase will bring assets in BlackRock’s global infrastructure platform to more than $7 billion. The firm’s Mexico office will grow to more than 50 employees and $26 billion of assets under management.

“This is the most material demonstration of our commitment to infrastructure in Mexico,” Jim Barry, the global head of BlackRock’s infrastructure investment group, said in a telephone interview.

BlackRock, led by Chief Executive Officer Laurence D. Fink, is expanding offerings targeting infrastructure projects such as roads and bridges as it seeks alternatives to traditional bond investments, whose returns have been eroded by years of near-zero interest rates.

Earlier this year, it agreed to buy a stake in two natural gas pipelines owned by state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos in a joint deal with First Reserve Corp. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto enacted widespread energy industry changes in 2013, 75 years after the country’s oil and gas business was nationalized. The government projects that opening up the industry will generate $62.5 billion in investments by 2018.

The deal announced today is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close by the end of 2015. The financial impact of the transaction is not material to BlackRock earnings per share.

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