October 30, 2020
Clifford Chance advises on Colombia's first 4G Toll Road Project Acquisition
New York: Leading international law firm Clifford Chance advised Interconexión Eléctrica S.A. E.S.P (ISA) and its subsidiary ISA Intervial Chile (Intervial) in connection with its acquisition of the Costera Cartagena Barranquilla 4G toll road in Colombia
This transaction marks an important milestone in Colombia as the first toll road project under the 4G program that has obtained international financing to be acquired. This is also a significant step forward in ISA's 2030 investment plan and diversification strategy.
The Costera Cartagena Barranquilla Project holds a 25-year concession to design, construct, improve, operate and maintain a 146km toll road located in the Atlantic region of Colombia. The Project’s main purpose is to connect Cartagena, Colombia’s fifth largest city by population, and Barranquilla, the largest city and port in the northern Caribbean coastal region of Colombia. The existing financing structure of the Project involves 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 revolving loan facility provided by Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional, currency hedges and approximately US$54.4 million of EPC performance insurance.
ISA is a multi-Latin group with 53 years of experience and history operating energy, toll roads, and telecommunications businesses throughout Latin America, supporting the development of these sectors in Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Central America. ISA has been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the fifth consecutive year making ISA one of the top 20 energy transmission companies worldwide.
Lead partner on the matter Thais Garcia offered, "We are pleased to support ISA and Intervial on the acquisition of the Costera Cartagena Barranquilla highway, their first road concession in Colombia. This acquisition is an important milestone in ISA's growth strategy and a landmark transaction for the Colombian market. We expect to see more M&A activity in this sector moving forward."
"This deal highlights our firm's ability to deliver joined-up solutions across our practices and achieve a successful closing in challenging circumstances. The team took a very responsive and pragmatic approach during the COVID-19 pandemic, trying to keep everyone involved focused on what was critical for success," commented Banking & Finance partner Gianluca Bacchiocchi.
Lead associate Luis Maria Clouet said, "This acquisition was a very complex transaction with lots of moving pieces," adding: "the successful consent solicitation is an overwhelming vote of confidence by the bondholders in the long-term outlook of the Project and its new sponsors."
The team also included partner Ed Bretherton (Construction) and associates Patricio Abal (Banking & Finance) and Laura Loaiza (M&A).