Global infrastructure fund Meridiam is working with French developer Eiffage to acquire the 25-year Santana-Mocoa-Neiva highway, Inframation has learned.
The Aliadas para el Progreso SPV for the highway, which is majority owned by companies belonging to infrastructure magnate Carlos Alberto Solarte Solarte, and the potential bidders are currently in negotiations with Colombian procurement agency ANI to renegotiate certain conditions that would allow the development to continue despite fines imposed for missing construction deadlines.
The initial concession contract required operations to begin in September 2018, yet the SPV has not been able to obtain financing in part due to the Solarte family’s alleged participation in corruption linked to infrastructure contracting.
According to the ANI, the SPV is owned by Carlos Alberto Solarte Solarte (62.22%), CASS Constructores (part of the Solarte group of companies) (30.78%) and Latinoamericana de Construcciones (Latinco) (7%).
The contract had a value of COP 2.97trn (USD 154m) as of December 2013.
Meridiam and Eiffage are working on a salvage plan that would see Aliadas para el Progreso cede the contract to the new owners and establish a six-month timetable to renegotiate the timetable for the financing and development of the PPP project, said a source close to the situation.
ANI will discuss with Aliadas and the involved parties their intentions at an upcoming hearing to either cancel the project or salvage it based on a draft proposal submitted earlier this year by the potential acquirors. The hearing is scheduled for 20th December.