Winner: Bradesco BBI
In a difficult market environment, infrastructure developers have faced challenges in financing
or refinancing their projects. In the case of Brazil, a robust bank sector has by and large helped
them find solutions to their funding needs.
Bradesco BBI, which wins the award for Infrastructure Bank of the Year – Brazil, stood out in
the field of contenders for being involved in some of the most important deals to come out of
the Brazilian infrastructure market over the past year.
The São Paulo-headquartered bank was poised to assist when large amounts of capital were
required to fund the winners of the mammoth Cedae sanitation auction in Rio de Janeiro. The
concessions were granted in the first half of 2021, but the financing was structured in the
second half of the year in a more difficult market. The auction of four lots involved R$35
billion in capex and R$25 billion in concession fees.
Bradesco BBI advised Iguá Saneamento, which won the lot number two, which demanded the
payment of R$7.2 billion in fees. The bank cut Iguá a pre-auction R$4 billion check and
coordinated and led a R$877 million debentures issuance as part of the financial structure. It
had previously advised Iguá when it sold a 45% capital stake for the Canada Pension Plan
Investment Board, CPPIB, for R$1.178bn.
Bradesco also worked with Aegea, which won two of the Cedae lots, in the issuance of R$7.8
billion in short term debentures that allowed the company to meet the initial financial demands
of the concessions.
“Sanitation was an important factor for the whole infrastructure market in the past year,” says
Fernando Guimarães, head of project finance at Bradesco BBI. “Volumes are large in sanitation
and there is still much to do in that sector.”
But sanitation was not the only game in town. Bradesco BBI also worked in the financing or
refinancing of road concessions such as the R$545 million infrastructure debentures issued by
CCR and the R$2 billion debentures that will enable Arteris to invest in a large road stretch in
the Southern state of Santa Catarina. CCR also issue to hefty debentures to finance new airport
concessions in the cities of Curitiba and Goiânia, totalling R$2.4 billion.
In the energy sector, Bradesco BBI participated in renewables deals worth R$6 billion,
providing financial guarantees, bridge loans or long-term financing. It also coordinated, while
taking completion risks, the issuance of R$1.8 billion by gas company GNA, a transaction
which wins Local Currency Deal of the Year
“The gas sector, as well as renewables, have very important agendas for the energy sector, and
we are supporting it very actively,” he says.
Guimarães expects infrastructure concessions in Brazil to be adapted to a new economic
environment with higher interest rates. This means, for instance, more conservative bids by
companies and better returns offered by the government, while projects that demand the
payment of concession fees will be harder to sell. Despite this, he does not expect the pipeline
for concessions to diminish.
Meanwhile, infrastructure projects will continue to become ever more sustainable, Guimarães
“By definition, projects do not move ahead today unless they have a strong ESG component. If
the numbers in a project are not right, we can help to adjust them. But if the ESG element is
not there, the bank will not get involved,” he says.