Firms agree Cartagena-Barranquilla 4G highway finance

The New York office of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP and Colombian firm Castro Leiva Rendón Criales Abogados has helped a consortium charged with expanding and maintaining a highway in northern Colombia agree a complex five-tranche US$470 million financing package.

The New York office of Clifford Chance LLP and Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría (Colombia) advised senior lenders Banco de Bogotá, Banco de Occidente, Bancolombia, and Fondo de Deuda Ashmore CAF, an investment fund backed by CAF development bank and Ashmore. The lenders supplied special purpose company Costera Cartagena Barranquilla with a senior loan facility worth 550.5 billion pesos (US$186 million). A separate team from PPU and US firm Reed Smith advised Citibank, acting as indenture trustee and offshore collateral agent.

The financing also includes project bonds. Both Clifford Chance and PPU advised the initial purchasers for two bond offerings for US$151 million and 327 million Colombian pesos (US$110 million). Fiduciaria Bancolombia was trustee for the project bonds and hired Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. All tranches of the financing closed on 8 July.

Holland & Knight LLP’s New York, Miami and Bogotá offices advised credit enhancement provider Financiera de Desarrolo Nacional (FDN).

The road runs between Cartagena, Colombia’s fifth largest city by population, and Barranquilla, the largest city and port in the northern Caribbean coastal region of Colombia. The US$850 million project spans almost 160km of road and is expected to be completed in 2020.

The Mario Huertas Cotes-Constructora Meco consortium owns the concession to design, build, maintain and operate the road. It is part of Colombia’s fourth-generation (4G) road infrastructure plan, which aims to deliver 7,000km of roads through public-private partnerships, requiring an investment of more than US$14 billion over the next eight years.

Counsel to Mario Huertas Cotes-Constructora Meco consortium

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP

Partners Carlos Albarracín, Carolina Walther-Meade and Andrew Walker, special counsels Ben Garcia and Catherine Leef Martin, and associates Brandon Jang, Donald Canavaggio, Alexander Barlow, Andrés Arnaldos Montaner, Carolyn Matos-Montes, Jules Mugema, Ashley Shapero, and Bernardo Mocho Moura in New York

Castro Leiva Rendón Criales Abogados

Partners Marcela Castro, José Ignacio Leiva and Carlos Padilla in Bogotá

Counsel to Goldman Sachs, Banco de Bogotá, Banco de Occidente, Bancolombia and Fondo de Deuda Ashmore CAF

Clifford Chance LLP

Partners Gianluca Bacchiocchi and Jon Zonis, and associates Guido Liniado, Luis Maria Clouet, Mariana Estévez, Alejandro Espitia, Regina Madrid and Greg Kahn in New York

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría (Colombia)

Partners Juan Fernando Gaviria and Jorge Di Terlizzi and associates Carolina Duque, Cristina Diaz, María De Bedout, María José Ariza, Andrea Castillo, Isabella Ariza, María Margarita Lorduy, Maria Camila Aponte, Maria del Rocío Vargas, Laura Isaza, Camilo Vivas, Ana María Sanchez, Roberto Camacho and Paula Buriticá in Bogotá

Counsel to Financiera de Desarrolo Nacional

Holland & Knight LLP

Partner Norberto Quintana in New York and foreign visiting attorney Mariana Guzian in Miami

Holland & Knight (Colombia)

Partner Enrique Gómez-Pinzón and associates Lucas Saffon and Maria Juliana Saa in Bogotá

Counsel to Citibank

Reed Smith

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría (Colombia)

Partner Javier Valle and associate Nicolas Tirado in Bogotá

Counsel to Fiduciaria Bancolombia

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Partner Robert Risoleo in Washington, DC, and partner Eric Wang and associates Joaquin Perez Alati, Guy Inbar and Slki Hong in New York

This article was updated on 20 July to add counsel from Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and Clifford Chance LLP.


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