Latham & Watkins LLP in New York and Colombian firm Gómez-Pinzón have helped three electric bus concessions in Bogotá obtain a US$96 million credit line from French investment bank Natixis, the latest in a string of financings for the expansion of the city’s TransMilenio system.
The lender relied on Cuatrecasas (Colombia) and Milbank in New York for the transaction.
Cititrust Colombia acted as collateral agent and hired Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría (Colombia).
The loans are for two concessions held by UK electric vehicle group VGMobility, as well as a third concession owned by VGMobility’s parent company, Swiss-based energy business Vitol.
Each tranche of the US$96 million financing closed on separate dates, with the third settled on 30 September.
The multi-tranche financing includes an accordion feature, an option that gives the borrowers the right to increase their credit line with Natixis. VGMobility and Vitol will use the funds to expand their fleet of electric buses in Colombia.
Bogotá’s TransMilenio has reduced carbon emissions in the Colombian capital. From its initial 41 kilometres of bus lanes in 2000, the TransMilenio network now covers 114 kilometres of infrastructure. The transport system is an attractive investment target for local and foreign companies. Back in August, UK infrastructure group John Laing bought two electric bus concessions in Bogotá. Prior to that, French and Colombian development banks lent US$130 million to TransMilenio for the acquisition of an electric bus fleet.
UK-based VGMobility has partnered with several local operators in Brazil, Chile and Mexico, as well as Colombia. In Bogotá, it currently operates a fleet of 120 buses that form part of the TransMilenio system. It is also building a depot with electrical charging infrastructure for the fleet.
Headquartered in Geneva, Vitol is an energy and commodity trader with a revenue of US$279 billion. In addition to its presence in Colombia, it has crude oil drilling sites in Argentina and Brazil.
Founded in 2006, Natixis is a French corporate and investment bank. It regularly lends funds to Latin American businesses, which recently included a financing for Brazilian iron ore miner CSN Mineração.
Counsel to VGMobility and Vitol
In-house counsel to VGMobility – Natalia García and Jean Francois Joachim
Latham & Watkins LLP
Partners Guido Liniado and Carlos Alvarez, counsel Brett Ackerman and associates Giancarlo Reanda and Jackie Rugart in New York
Partner José Luis Suarez and associates Catalina Prieto, Olga Santamaria and Laura Lucía Martinez in Bogotá
Counsel to Natixis
Partner Jaime Ramirez and associates Ana Maria Rodriguez Polania and John Kim in New York
Partners Ana María Sánchez and Manuel Quinche, senior associates Natalia Arango, Cristina Stiefken, Camilo Cardona and Carolina Trejos, and associates Laura Salazar, Nicolás Fontecha, Andrés Nossa and Diego Torres in Bogotá
Counsel to Cititrust Colombia
Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría (Colombia)
Partner Nicolás Tirado and associates Juan José Castaño, Fabio Palacios and Mateo Reyes in Bogotá