13 July 2016
Clifford Chance Advises On The Financing Of Colombia's Costera Cartagena Barranquilla Toll Road Project
Leading international law firm Clifford Chance today announced that it acted as New York counsel to Goldman Sachs and Scotia Capital (as Initial Purchasers), and Bancolombia, Banco de Bogota, Banco de Occidente and the CAF-AM Ashmore Debt Fund (as Senior Lenders) in connection with the approximately US$472 million multi-source and multi-currency financing of the Costera Cartagena Barranquilla 4G toll road in Colombia that closed on July 8, 2016.
The project, to be developed by special purpose company Costera Cartagena Barranquilla, and owned by Constructora Colpatria, Constructora Meco and M.H.C. Ingeniería y Construcción de Obras Civiles, represents one of several recent ventures undertaken by Clifford Chance in advising investors on Colombia's 4G highway infrastructure program. The program aims to modernize Colombia’s highway system by adding approximately 7,000 km in newly constructed roads, reflecting expected investments of approximately 47,000 billion Colombian Pesos (COP). The complex financing structure of the deal involved a US$150.8 million and COP 327 billion international bond offering, a COP 550.5 billion senior loan facility, a COP 217.5 billion subordinated multipurpose revolving loan facility provided by Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional, a Colombian state-owned development bank, currency hedges and approximately US$54.4 million of EPC performance insurance.
Gianluca Bacchiocchi, a partner in Clifford Chance's Latin America Project Finance practice, said: "This financing, along with the Pacifico Tres transaction that closed back in February, represents the cutting edge of infrastructure financing in Latin America and has further expanded the possibilities for using the capital markets and hybrid structures to fund infrastructure projects in the region."
The team was led by Mr. Bacchiocchi and fellow partner Jon Zonis, and included associates Guido Liniado, Luis Maria Clouet, Mariana Estévez, Alejandro Espitia, Regina Madrid and Greg Kahn, all based in New York.
The Firm's Latin American practice has extensive experience advising on toll road transactions in Latin America and is very familiar with the various regulatory frameworks, legal practices and financing structures involving long-term concessions throughout the region. Clifford Chance has been involved in more 4G Toll Road projects than any other international law firm, including the aforementioned US$858 million financing of the Pacifico Tres toll road, the first ever 4G toll road project to be financed internationally and the first project bond ever in Colombia.
Clifford Chance finished 2015 ranked No. 1 in the Latin America project finance league table for both deal volume and deal value, with its Project Finance team ranked Band 1 by Chambers Latin America. The firm was also named the best Latin America Law Firm in 2015 by IJGlobal, while being awarded Project Finance Team of the Year by IFLR and Latin America Law Firm of the Year by PFI Infrastructure Investor.