Latin America: Grupo Ortiz led Colombian project nears financial agreement

12 March 2018 - 12:00 am UTC

The SPV behind the 137km Transversal del Sisga road project is nearing a COP 575bn (USD 200m) financing agreement with local and international lenders in the coming weeks.

Two sources familiar said sponsors are working with a group of international and local lenders on a dual-tranche loan that includes a 13-year portion denominated in COP, priced over the IPC benchmark; and an 18-year tranche denominated in UVR, the Colombian currency tied to inflation.

The SPV Concesión del Sisga comprises Spanish developer Grupo Ortiz and Colombian builder KMA Construcciones. Venezuelan developer Obresca participated in the original consortium but Inframation understands it has since left the project.

Spanish development company Cofides reported plans to acquire up to 15% of shares in the concessionaire, following a similar model applied to the acquisition of a 5% stake in the concessionaire behind the Conexión Norte toll road.

Colombian development bank FDN had approved a bank guarantee of up to COP 95bn in September 2016 to support KMA Construcciones on its 4G investments.

In its financial submission to national infrastructure agency (ANI) in mid-2016, the SPV had support for COP 630bn from local banks Davivienda and Itaú Corpbanca and debt infrastructure fund CAF-Ashmore 1.

Three local experts not involved in the deal said Davivienda and Itaú Corpbanca were likely to have exited the financing negotiations, as local banks are becoming too exposed to the sector, while a level of domestic political and legal uncertainty remains.

ANI awarded the 25-year PPP contract to the sponsors in May 2015 to design, build, finance operate and maintain (DBFOM) the 137km Transversal del Sisga road, with an estimated investment of COP 547bn.

The project involves the upgrade and maintenance of the highway connecting the departments of Boyacá, Casanare and Cundinamarca.