British asset manager Aberdeen Standard Investments has joined an investor group that is negotiating for Solarte’s 70% stake in a Colombian highway, according to two sources close to the transaction.
The UK-based investor is working with Colombian Infrastructure Equity Fund (CIEF) and its partner Mexican asset manager EXI to negotiate a deal for the Santander de Quilichao-Popayán highway. The team will have to bargain with seller CASS Constructores, a company of the embattled Solarte family, to acquire a majority stake, according to the sources.
The bidders will be in exclusive negotiations with the sellers until October, they added.
Australian investor Macquarie, which has held conversations with Solarte over several assets they’re interested in acquiring, have also shown interest in the Santander de Quilichao-Popayán highway, according to the first source.
CASS Constructores has co-owned the concession contract with Ecuadorean developer Hidalgo e Hidalgo (30%) since winning the contract in June 2015.
Aberdeen has yet to make an investment in Latin America but demonstrated its intention to acquire assets in the region when in 2017 it launched its first Latin American investment vehicle, Andean Social Infrastructure Fund I LP.
The fund registered a USD 98m first close on 25 September 2017, but a November 2018 presentation said it has raised USD 242m in commitments.
A spokesperson for Aberdeen failed to respond to a request for comment.