Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA)
The legal team at Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) in Mexico is led by Roman Ajzen, a well-regarded US-trained lawyer, who is general counsel of FIBRA Macquarie Mexico and Macquarie Mexican Infrastructure Fund (MMIF). He is assisted by Monserrat Villegas, a tireless Mexican trained corporate and regulatory support lawyer. The team covers all fund-level matters for the two funds, including M&A, financing, fundraising, public company matters, reporting, corporate secretary, and provides transaction support to MIRA’s Sao Paolo and New York offices. Asset-level legal teams manage day-to-day commercial activities of their assets, such as leasing, permitting and corporate secretary, with oversight from MIRA Mexico legal. The team reports into the MIRA legal team in New York. In the last year, the team has become tightly integrated into the New York legal team, thereby facilitating the investment in Latin America by Macquarie-managed US infrastructure funds. Exposure to US practices has also led to important knowledge transfer to the MIRA Mexico legal team, including transaction structuring, use of representation & warranty insurance and other matters. At the same time, MIRA has also increasingly used local language and local law agreements in Mexico and Brazil as opposed to English-language, New York law agreements, reflecting MIRA’s on-the-ground presence and local expertise, which has facilitated transactions with local counterparties, streamlined execution and reduced legal spend. Notable highlights from this highly successful year include the entry into agreements to acquire a 322MW solar plant in Mexico, entry into agreements to acquire two fibre optic networks, totalling over 7500 fibre route miles of high-speed broadband and fibre-optic connections, in the Midwest US, and US$90m of M&A activity for FIBRA Macquarie. The team also led the update and implementation of FIBRA Macquarie’s corporate governance policies to ensure they remain market leading, including preparation of a best-in-class corporate governance statement and code of ethics. Roman highlights that ‘Monserrat and I seek to combine US best practices with local customs and laws to provide MIRA a competitive edge in Latin America.’ In prior years, the team participated in the complete refinancing of the FIBRA Macquarie’s balance sheet, representing US$1.1bn of debt across six credit facilities plus interest rate swaps. Financings include secured and unsecured facilities, term loans and revolvers, NY law and Mexican law, and novel structures with 13 different lenders. The legal team had to ensure consistency of terms across the facilities, appropriate risk allocation and proper layering of security interests. Finally, the team worked on the disposal of MMIF interests in a Mexican wind farm project.