UPDATE 1-BlackRock to buy Mexican fund tied to scandal-hit contractor
(New throughout, adds details on sale, background on developer)
By Christine Murray
MEXICO CITY, June 12 (Reuters) - BlackRock Inc, the world's largest asset manager, has agreed to buy a Mexican infrastructure investment fund that financed projects for a contractor at the center of a scandal which embroiled President Enrique Pena Nieto.
BlackRock announced its deal to buy Infraestructura Institucional, also known as I Cuadrada, on Friday, but gave no details.
It will pay around 1.1 billion pesos ($71 million) and keep some of the fund's key senior management, said a person familiar with the deal, who declined to be named as the terms were not public.
Two of the six projects listed in Infraestructura Institucional's most recent quarterly filing were built by companies owned by contractor Juan Armando Hinojosa.
Mexico's federal auditor is investigating contracts held by Hinojosa after news of real estate deals he made with political figures sparked national outrage last year. Local media reported that he sold a luxury home in Mexico City to the first lady, and the Wall Street Journal reported that he sold a house to Finance Minister Luis Videgaray at a below-market interest rate.
His companies have won millions of dollars worth of public contracts during Pena Nieto's 2005-2011 governorship of the State of Mexico and his presidency. One of the companies was part of a Chinese-led consortium awarded a multibillion-dollar high-speed train contract last year. That contract was later nixed, days before news of the real estate deal with the first lady.
The two Infraestructura Institucional projects with Hinojosa represent around 16 percent of total assets held in the fund's two investment vehicles, including long-term accounts receivable and investments in joint ventures. When including all committed capital to the fund, it represents 9 percent of the total. Continuación...