Sacyr backed consortium seeks financing for Uruguayan railroad

02 November 2018 - 12:00 am UTC

The special purpose vehicle (SPV) behind the USD 1.1bn Uruguay Central Train is evaluating lenders’ proposals to fund construction of the project, three sources briefed said.

Sacyr sent a request for proposals by mid-October for debt of approximately USD 850m split into tranches denominated in local currency and US Dollar, with a USD 490m portion requested to commercial lenders, a source familiar added.

The RFP set a deadline for the end of October, expecting to decide by mid-November which lenders will participate in the transaction.

Although the final structure is not decided yet, and both a project bond and a bank loan are alternatives under evaluation, sponsors are asking for a miniperm facility or a long-dated tenor structure, sources said.

The deal will be backed by availability payments from the Uruguayan Ministry of Transport and Public Works (MTOP) that launched the tender for the project in 2017 intending to connect the port of Montevideo to the city of Paso de los Toros 234km to the north.

The SPV Grupo Via Central comprises Spanish and French builders Sacyr (40%) and NGE Group (27%), with local developers Grupo Saceem (27%) and Berkes (6%).

Astris Finance serves as financial advisor to the sponsor.

The SPV Grupo Via Central was the only consortium not been disqualified from the tendering process, that also received bids from Spanish developer Acciona and a consortium comprising companies China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) and Shandong Gaosu Group (SDHS).

The railroad will enable a future pulp mill owned by Finnish company UPM to export its production.

In a separate auction, the grantor is expected to select a provider of the rolling stock of the project.


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