June 29, 2017 / 9:12 PM / 2 months ago

Investors plan $500 million Mexico market listing to buy energy assets: sources

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Private equity group Riverstone Holdings and Miguel Galuccio, a former chief executive of Argentine state-owned oil company YPF, aim to raise $500 million in Mexico's first-ever stock market listing of a special purpose acquisition company, according to two people familiar with the plan.

Vista Oil & Gas, the special purpose vehicle, intends to purchase energy exploration and production assets in Mexico, Colombia, Argentina and Brazil within two years of its listing, tentatively planned for a month from now, according to an investor presentation.

The stock market listing would be the first to take advantage of a 2013 constitutional change that opened Mexico's energy production and exploration to private investors for the first time in 75 years.

Reuters could not immediately reach a Riverstone spokesman.

Special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, raise money from investors and then go shopping, betting that their management teams will find attractive deals at suitable prices.

They have gained ground in U.S. shale oil and gas because they hold cash that can be invested quickly, and because their publicly traded shares are more liquid than private equity investments.

Riverstone, a private equity group founded in 2000, has committed over $35 billion in 130 investments in the energy industry.

Galuccio resigned as head of YPF last year amid a change in administration by Argentina's incoming president, Mauricio Macri.

Credit Suisse and Citi are managing the listing of Vista Oil & Gas, according to its prospectus.

Reporting by Mexico City Newsroom and Sheky Espejo; Writing by Noel Randewich; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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