(Bloomberg) -- Mexican industrial real estate trust Fibra Next pulled its initial public offering, set to be the country’s largest since 2018, after a last minute snag over its tax status.
Local pension funds, known as afores, were unable to participate in the deal without the final tax paperwork, said people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public. The company will seek to place the offer once it has the proper documentation, the people added.
In a filing late Wednesday, parent company Fibra Uno Administracion SA confirmed it was postponing the deal. A new date has not been set.
“The book was oversubscribed, with strong demand globally across geographies and investor types,” the company said in the filing. “Even though we could have carried out the offering within the range, Fibra Next is focused on going to market with the most diverse investor base, including key investors from Fibra Uno, afores, and institutional investors.”
The deal hit a hurdle after Fibra Next said in a filing late on Tuesday that the tax benefits of being a real estate investment trust (REIT) would not apply until it receives officials’ approval. Bankers involved in the deal told Bloomberg News earlier there was no legal impediment for the offer to be priced, while adding that the final decision on whether to go ahead with the launch rested with the company.
Read More: Mexico’s Biggest IPO Since 2018 Hits Last Minute Tax Hurdle
The listing had sought to capitalize on investor interest in “nearshoring” — the trend where manufacturers are moving to Mexico to be closer to the US market. Mexican companies with a link to nearshoring that have been raising cash since the middle of last year included logistics and industrial property-focused Prologis Property Mexico SA and trucking company Grupo Traxion SAB.
The IPO was originally planned to raise as much as $1.5 billion, but was pared back after the firm struggled to drum up enough investor interest at the valuation it was seeking. The company is aiming to sell up to 277.8 million shares known as CBFIs in the offering at around 54 pesos each, according to a filing on Mexico’s stock exchange website.
“They should have a successful IPO if they sort out these tax issues and get the local pension funds on board,” said Rodolfo Ramos, a strategist at Bradesco BBI. “We continue to see demand for nearshoring plays, but also the market seems to be more sensitive to valuations.”
While no big companies have listed shares in Mexico since late 2017, there has been a trickle of REITs. Fibra Next’s sale would have been the biggest IPO since the $1.6 billion listing in early 2018 of a real estate trust tied to an airport project that was canceled by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, according to Bloomberg data.
Fibra Next is comprised of 81 million square feet of warehouses and factories focused around Mexico City, making it 1.8 times the size of its nearest competitor, Prologis. With access to more land from the El-Mann family, which founded Fibra Uno, Fibra Next could almost double in size to more than 140 million square feet, according to an investor presentation.
Fibra Uno shares closed down 2.8%, while the benchmark stock gauge rose 0.8%.
(Updates with company filing in third paragraph)
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