Ruta del Cacao concessionaire secures financial close
October 29, 2018 | Aaron Weinman
Colombian highway operator gathers $529m in project debt for the Bucaramanga-Barrancabermeja-Yondó road
Debt Loans Project & Infrastructure Finance Colombia
The concessionaire behind the Ruta del Cacao 4G highway initiative has reached financial close on a COP1.68tn ($529m) debt package to aid the construction of the Bucaramanga-Barrancabermeja-Yondó road.
Colombian development bank FDN granted a COP280.9bn senior credit facility and a COP105bn liquidity line, the bank said in a statement on Friday.
As previously reported by LatinFinance, Bancolombia and BBVA made up the commercial bank portion of the package while investor BlackRock and the Union for Infrastructure Fund (UPI) rounded out the project financing.
The IDB will also contribute COP260.9bn to the project works, with these proceeds being made available through a peso-denominated funding line from FDN.
BBVA was financial advisor on the project, sources have said. Tenors on the debt package were expected to be split between an 18- and 14-year tranche.
When accounting for the indirect funding line, FDN said it was providing 32.3% of the Ruta del Cacao's total project financing.
Cintra owns 40% of the concessionaire, while the construction subsidiary of local financial services group Scotiabank Colpatria has 30% and Ashmore the remaining 30%. Cintra is a subsidiary of the Spanish transportation infrastructure company Ferrovial.
Ruta del Cacao signed a 25-year concession contract for the Bucaramanga-Barrancabermeja-Yondó road in October 2015.
PPU said it was legal advisor to the concessionaire while Brigard & Urrutia advised Bancolombia, BBVA, FDN, BlackRock and UPI. Holland & Knight was also counsel to FDN as liquidity lender, according to a statement from PPU. Garrigues advised the local lenders, Skadden advised Ruta del Cacao on New York law and DLA Piper advised the IDB, IDB Invest and local lenders on New York law. Perez Llorca provided Spanish counsel to the lenders, PPU said.
Colombia's 4G initiative has now raised COP21tn across 14 projects, FDN said. Of the proceeds that have reached financial close, 38% has come from Colombia's banks, 31% from institutional investors, 19% from international financiers and 12% from FDN.
Two more 4G projects are expected to reach financial close before the end of this year, taking the total raised to COP24tn.
Image: Ruta del Cacao/Twitter.