US$658.2 Million Multicurrency Financing of a Toll Road Project in Colombia

Clifford Chance advised a consortium led by China Harbour Engineering Company Limited in connection with the approximately US$658.2 million multicurrency financing of the Concesión Autopista al Mar 2, a toll road project in Colombia.

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 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. The complex financing structure also involved currency hedges and approximately COP132.5 billion of EPC performance insurance.

The Firm’s team, led by Gianluca Bacchiocchi (Picture), included Luis Maria Clouet and associates Julián Hurtado Vallejo and Laura Loaiza in New York; 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.

Involved fees earner: Gianluca Bacchiocchi – Clifford Chance; Luis Maria Clouet – Clifford Chance; Catherine Ennis – Clifford Chance; Megan Gordon – Clifford Chance; José Guardo – Clifford Chance; Julian Hurtado Vallejo – Clifford Chance; Greg Kahn – Clifford Chance; Jacqueline Landells – Clifford Chance; Icy Li – Clifford Chance; Laura Loaiza – Clifford Chance; Laura Marriott – Clifford Chance; Catherine McCarthy – Clifford Chance; Gabriel Miranda – Clifford Chance; Jiahua Ni – Clifford Chance; Eduardo Sánchez – Clifford Chance;

Law Firms: Clifford Chance;

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

Author: Ambrogio Visconti