Autopista al Mar 2’s $658 Million Financing

Clifford Chance, Conyers Dill & Pearman, Holland & Knight, Paul Hastings and Tian Yuan Law Firm advised on the transaction

A consortium led by China Harbour Engineering Company Limited secured the approximately US$658.2 million multicurrency financing of the Concesión Autopista al Mar 2, a toll road project in Colombia (“Mar 2”).

The financing is the first private investment made by a Chinese construction company under Colombia’s 4G highway infrastructure program, and also marks the first financing made by China Development Bank (“CDB”) under the 4G program. The program seeks to modernize Colombia’s highway system by improving existing roadways and constructing approximately 7,000 kilometers of new roads.

The Mar 2 project, a 254 kilometer toll road that will run from Cañasgordas to Necoclí in the Antioquia region of Colombia, is being developed by special purpose company Autopistas Urabá SAS, which is owned jointly by CHEC, China Harbour Concessions Company (Bermuda) Limited, China Harbour Concessions Company, S.L.U., SP Ingenieros SAS, Unidad de Infraestructura y Construcciones Asociadas SAS and Termotécnica Coindustrial SAS.

The financing consists of a US$501.7 million senior dollar credit facility provided by CDB and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and a COP500.0 billion senior Colombian peso facility provided by Colombian state development bank Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (“FDN”). The complex financing structure also involved currency hedges and approximately COP132.5 billion of EPC performance insurance.

Clifford Chance advised China Harbour Concessions Company (Bermuda) Limited, China Harbour Engineering Company Limited, China Harbour Concessions Company, S.L.U., S.P. Ingenieros S.A.S. Unidad de Infraestructura and Construcciones Asociadas S.A.S. with Gianluca Bacchiocchi, Luis Maria Clouet, Julián Hurtado Vallejo, Laura Loaiza; Banking & Finance partner Kate McCarthy and associate Laura Marriott in Washington, DC; Finance partner Jiahua Ni and associate Icy Li in Beijing; and Banking & Finance partner Jose Guardo and associates Eduardo Sánchez Roldán and Gabriel Miranda in Madrid. Litigation partner Megan Gordon, along with counsels Jacqueline Landells and Catherine Ennis, advised on sanctions and anticorruption-related provisions, and Capital Markets counsel Greg Kahn advised on the NY-law hedges.

Conyers Dill & Pearman advised Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and China Development Bank with Sophia Greaves and Katie Martin.

Holland & Knight advised Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, China Development Bank and Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional with Enrique Gómez-Pinzón (Picture), Norberto Quintana, Carolina Arciniegas Parga, María Juliana Saa, Lucas Saffon-López, María Isabel Romero, Rafael Marulanda, Felipe Carrizosa and Edgar Andrés Martinez Vallejo.

Tian Yuan Law Firm advised China Development Bank with Fu Siqi and Zhen Yueneng.

Paul Hastings advised advised Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and China Development Bank with Robert (Bob) Kartheiser, Luke McDougall, Richard Kitchen, Meka Meng, Thomas R. Sines, Amin Doulai, Ludovico Giannotti, Alon Blitz, Berton Wang, Janet Yuan, Bruna Rey and Anna Barbosa.

Involved fees earner: Sophia Greaves – Conyers Dill & Pearman; Katie Martin – Conyers Dill & Pearman; Carolina Arciniegas – Holland & Knight; Felipe Carrizosa – Holland & Knight; Enrique Gomez-Pinzon – Holland & Knight; Andrés Martinez Vallejo – Holland & Knight; Rafael Marulanda – Holland & Knight; Norberto Quintana – Holland & Knight; Maria Romero de la Torre – Holland & Knight; Maria Juliana Saa – Holland & Knight; Lucas Saffon-López – Holland & Knight; Alon Blitz – Paul Hastings; Amin Doulai – Paul Hastings; Ludovico Giannotti – Paul Hastings; Robert Kartheiser – Paul Hastings; Richard Kitchen – Paul Hastings; Luke McDougall – Paul Hastings; Meka Meng – Paul Hastings; Bruna Rey – Paul Hastings; Thomas Sines – Paul Hastings; Berton Wang – Paul Hastings; Fu Siqi – Tian Yuan Law; Zhen Yueneng – Tian Yuan Law;

Law Firms: Conyers Dill & Pearman; Holland & Knight; Paul Hastings; Tian Yuan Law;

Clients: China Development Bank (CDB); Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN); Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation;

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Author: Ambrogio Visconti.