Spanish companies eyeing Colombian road

12 February 2019 - 12:00 am UTC

Two major Spanish companies are among those eyeing a 70% stake in the Cartagena –Barranquilla highway, sources told Inframation.

Among the bidders are Spanish road operators Globalvia and Roadis, it is understood.

Companies are expected to present indicative bids at the end of March. Winning the asset would mark a Colombia entry for both companies, according to their respective websites.

Colombian bank Nexus Banca de Inversión has been mandated as financial advisor for the sellers.

The current consortium is Concesión Costera – Cartagena Barranquilla, which comprises Colombian developers Mario Huertas Cotes (30%), Colpatria (30%), Castro Tcherassi (10%) and Costa Rican developer Meco (30%).

It is understood that there may be an option to make an offer for a 100% stake of the asset. It remains unclear, in the event of a sale for a 70% stake, if each of the current shareholders will sell down a portion of their current stakes to total 70%, or if any of the current holders of a 30% will retain their stakes.

A consortium comprising Mario Huertas Cotes and Meco was awarded the project in July 2014 and the project reached financial close with the current equity sponsors, with a total capex of USD 560m, in June 2016, according to Inframation.

In the original financing, bank debt totalled USD 230.90m, provided by Bancolombia, Banco de Bogotá, Banco de Occidente and Ashmore Debt Fund 1. Goldman Sachs underwrote a total of USD 252.8m in bonds.

The project involves the expansion and maintenance of a 110km section of highway connecting Cartagena and Barranquilla, on Colombia’s Atlantic coast, as well as a 43km section between Barranquilla and Malambo known as the “Circunvalar de la Prosperidad”.

According to the website of ANI – Colombia’s National Infrastructure Agency – the project remains under construction.

Mario Huertas Cotes, Colpatria, Castro Tcherassi and Meco would not return calls nor emails seeking comment.

Globalvia and Roadis declined comment on the situation.

 

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