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Analysis
11 March 2022

Deals of the Year 2021 Latin America: The winners podium

In:
Manufacturing & equipment, Metals and Mining, Oil & gas, Other, Power, Renewables, Social infrastructure, Telecoms and Communications, Transport, Waste and water
Region:
Americas
Contributing Editor
There is nothing new about using bonds to finance Latin American projects. But 2021 was the first year of bond dominance over bank debt across the major project sectors in the region.

It probably doesn’t make sense to call 2021 the year of a capital markets breakthrough in Latin America. Bonds are now an extremely established tool for both greenfield and brownfield project finance. Over the last 25 years they have featured in all of the major jurisdictions - and even several of the smaller ones.

But 2021 was the year that bonds established a dominant position across the sectors represented in Latin America. They are not quite the default in all markets, but the circumstances in which bank debt always makes the most sense are getting more and more rare.

Some of this speaks to the continued efforts of Latin American governments to maintain a strong fiscal position - and to create project structures that attract competitive debt financing. Some of it speaks to consistent struggles of local and international banks to reach useful tenors on both local currency- and dollar-denominated  infrastructure deals.

And some of it speaks to sponsors and arrangers that have become adept at finding pockets of liquidity - and even creating some when markets wobble. The standout transactions in 2021 had an easier time than their counterparts from 2020, but they still comprised a blend of effort and excellence.

Presentations of Proximo’s Latin America Awards took place in Miami on the evening of 9 March. The winners were as follows:

Awards to firms:


Latin America Law Firm of the Year 2021 

Milbank

A repeat winner, as well as the winner in North America. Milbank won the support of Proximo’s judging panel with a strong geographical and sector spread, as well as its work product.


Latin America Financial Adviser of the Year 2021

Astris Finance

A mixture of large and challenging engagements for Astris, including highlight deals in Colombia and Chile.

 

Latin America Bank of the Year 2021

Goldman Sachs

In a year of widespread bond dominance, Goldman rose to the top, with a mixture of dollar and local currency deals, for a variety of assets.

 

North America Sponsor of the Year 2021

KKR

Several high-profile telecoms investments, as well as the blockbuster Sempra Infrastructure Partners acquisition.

 

Deals of the Year:

 

Latin America P3

Smart Luz

First-of-its-kind 144A repack issue for a street lighting/smart city PPP in Rio de Janeiro.

 

Latin America Roads

Rio Magdalena 2

The deal exploited multiple debt distribution channels, in both pesos and dollars.

 

Latin America Rail

Metro de Lima Line 2 

A second financing for this concession - and the first ECA-backed securitisation of Peruvian PPP receivables.

 

Latin America Social Infrastructure

Bosa Hospital

A strong start to Colombia’s hospital PPP programme, with an all local commercial bank debt package.

 

Latin America Digital Infrastructure

ATP Tower Holdings

Benchmark bond refinancing of a multi-jurisdictional mobile towers portfolio.

 

Latin America Mining

Serrote

A reopening of the Latin Mining project with this debut in-house development from mining fund Appian.

 

Latin America Project Bond

Mubadala Capital Brazil

Mubadala funds its acquisition of a refinery complex in Brazil with the country’s largest ever project bond.

 

Latin America Solar

Matrix Los Llanos

Matrix Renewables cracks the Colombian renewables puzzle with a senior-junior local currency debt package.

 

Latin America Portfolio

Chacao +

The energy transition in practice. EDF and AME fund the conversion of GM Holdings’ fleet into cleaner operations.

 

Latin America Power and Overall Latin America

ISA Interchile Refinancing

Long-dated and keenly-priced. This large 144A offering sets a benchmark for regional and global transmission issuers.

 

 

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