Investment Bank of the Year 2018 -- Colombia: BTG Pactual

Investment Bank of the Year 2018 -- Colombia: BTG Pactual

Colombia’s capital markets were defined by transactions of size and scope this year as deals closed in the debt and equity markets and some important M&A agreements also came across the line.

BTG Pactual took advantage of opportunities across the gamut of the capital markets and won the award for Investment Bank of the Year in Colombia.

“There are just eight of us in Colombia,” Felipe Pérez, the head of investment banking for BTG Pactual in Colombia, says of the size of his team. “We cannot work on 20 transactions, but we focus on the most important.”

In September, for example, BTG Pactual advised the Colombian healthcare operator Grupo Empresarial Las Américas on the sale of 651 billion pesos ($205 million) in assets to Peru’s Grupo Auna.

But the equity market is where BTG Pactual shone over the past year. Colombian equities have endured a barren run in recent years, but leading deals for Corficolombiana and Empresa de Energía de Bogotá (EEB) enabled BTG Pactual to prove its capabilities with local and foreign investors.

EEB had the choice of at least four different banking groups during the pitch process, but it chose a team with BTG, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Inverlink. The result was a $670 million follow-on equity offering that was $170 million above what the Bogotá government had sought initially.

“This was the first international [equity] offering from a Colombian issuer since 2014,” Pérez says. “We unlocked the market and showed companies that you can tap equity financing.”

BTG Pactual featured in myriad debt transactions over the past year, partnering with other investment banks in Colombia to complete deals for Cementos Argos, Organización Terpel, Codensa, ISA and frequent local borrower Odinsa.

BTG Pactual also advised the local construction company El Cóndor on roughly 1.47 trillion pesos in financing for the Ruta al Mar toll road in December.

“We believe in the 4G projects and decided that El Cóndor was one of the best companies to partner with,” Pérez says. Looking ahead, he says BTG Pactual has more toll road mandates for 2019, along with deals in the energy and healthcare sectors. LF