Maria Juliana Saa and Fabricio Longhin

H&K and CC on Troncales 5G highway project finance

Holland & Knight and Clifford Chance have advised the lenders locally and internationally on the multi-currency financing of the COP4.3 billion (approximately USD1.12 billion) fifth generation (5G) Autopista Magdalena Medio (Troncal del Magdalena 1) and Autopista del Río Grande (Troncal del Magdalena 2) highways.

On 8 April, the financial closing of COP 2.3 billion for Autopista Magdalena Medio and COP 2 billion for Autopista del Río Grande was announced; where each project is being developed by a special purpose entity jointly owned by Ortiz Construcciones y Proyectos, and KMA Construcciones, and are part of the recently launched 5G road infrastructure programme in Colombia. This is the first dual-toll road financing in Colombia involving three multilateral organisations.

The Autopista Magdalena Medio will extend 260 kilometres from Puerto Salgar to Barrancabermeja, passing through the departments of Cundinamarca, Boyacá and Santander. The Río Grande Highway will extend 272 kilometres between Barrancabermeja and Curumaní, crossing the departments of Santander and Cesar.

The construction of both highways will connect the main cities in the interior of Colombia with the ports of the Caribbean. These projects have the potential to generate up to 100,000 direct and indirect jobs during their construction phase. In addition, these new highways will reduce travel time by approximately two hours along the corridor, with an average speed of 100 kilometres per hour, which is expected to boost the country’s competitiveness.

Bank lenders included Bancolombia, International Finance Corporation (IFC), IDB Invest, Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean (CAF), J.P. Morgan Securities PLC, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) and Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN).

H&K’s team consisted of partner Maria Juliana Saa (pictured left) and associate María Elvira Borrero, who led the Bogotá-based team of lawyers.

Clifford Chance’s team was led by partner Fabricio Longhin (pictured right), together with associates Julián Hurtado Vallejo, Mariana Gutiérrez Ruiz and Fernando Liu, and foreign law clerk Juan Andrés Bosch Muñoz. Additional support was provided by partner Megan Gordon and counsel Catherine Ennis and Jacqueline Landells from the White-Collar team; partner Avrohom Gelber and associate Wei Bin Tan from in Tax matters; and partner Daniel Winick and associate Xiaowen Zou, advising Glas USA LLC and Glas Americas as counsel to Administrative Agent and Intercreditor Agent.

L Giselle Estrada