Colombian 4G project closes landmark finance deal

Paul Hastings LLP’s New York office and Posse Herrera Ruiz in Bogotá have helped construction company El Cóndor become the first company to obtain cross-border financing for a privately built project under Colombia’s 4G (fourth generation) infrastructure programme.

Clifford Chance LLP in New York and Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría (Colombia) were hired by the lenders Goldman Sachs, Bancolombia, CAF Ashmore and Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional. Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in Washington, DC, New York and London assisted Bancolombia as deal’s trustee.

The US$708 million finance will fund the construction of a 300-mile highway connecting the northwestern departments of Antioquia and Bolívar, in a project known as Ruta al Mar.

The deal included the issuance of bonds worth 522 billion Colombian pesos (US$188 million) which received two investment-grade ratings.

The transaction closed on 21 December. Unlike other toll road projects financed under the 4G programme, Ruta al Mar is not supported by government contributions or traffic top-up payments.

The deal is one of the few cross-border infrastructure financings to take place in Colombia in 2017. Cross-border project financing work has dried up in the country since it emerged that Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht had paid bribes to local authorities to win public contracts in several Latin American jurisdictions, including Colombia. By December last year, 12 people in Colombia, including a senator and a former senator, had been arrested due to alleged involvement in the scheme.

Counsel to El Condor

Paul Hastings LLP

Partners Robert Kartheiser and Cathleen McLaughlin, and associates Thomas Sines, Alex Herman, Inho Ko and Nicolas Benvenuto

Posse Herrera Ruiz

Partner Mariana Posse and associates Jesús Albarrán, Mauricio Nieto, Carlos Guzmán, Camila Arango and Andrés Herrera in Bogotá

Counsel to Goldman Sachs, Bancolombia, CAF Ashmore and Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional

Clifford Chance LLP

Partners Gianluca Bacchiocchi and Jon Zonis, and associatess Guido Liniado, Luis Maria Clouet and Mariana Estévez in New York

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría (Colombia)

Partners Juan Fernando Gaviria and Jorge Di Terlizzi, and associates Carlos Padilla, Carolina Duque, Margarita Lorduy, Camila Quintero, María José Ariza, Roberto Camacho, Stefania Olmos, Ana María Ramírez, María Camila Aponte, Daniela Duque in Bogotá

Counsel to Bancolombia

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Partners Robert Risoleo in Washington, DC; partner Eric Wang and assciate Joaquin Pérez Alati in New York; and assciate Slki Hong in London


Latin Lawyer