Structuring the financing of a huge new concession just as the Covid-19 pandemic ravaged the Brazilian economy may not seem the most enviable task. But Eixo SP did just that, with the support of development bank BNDES and local capital markets, in a transaction that has earned it the Infrastructure Financing of the Year in Brazil.
Eixo SP manages a concession of 1,273 km of highways in the states of São Paulo and Mato Grosso do Sul. To win the bid, it made a series of renovation and ESG commitments and is expected to invest 14 billion reais over the next 30 years.
The deal that made it possible to present such a bid involved the issuance of 350 million reais in infrastructure debentures, with duration of 14.5 years. But most importantly, it included a 25-year, five-tranche BNDES loan worth 2.65 billion reais. The rates of the loan are inflation index IPCA plus 5.27% for the first four tranches, and IPCA plus 6.76% for the final one.
“This is a large project with a unique financing structure. We have two investment cycles to be made in the course of the concession’s 30 years. The BNDES line was, among the options we had, the one that better adjusted to this structure,” says Gilson Carvalho, Eixo SP’s CFO. “The investment cycles are complex and discontinuous, and other alternatives could create some carry-on costs and compromise our return rates.”
Carvalho says that BNDES made an effort to understand the challenges of the project, which is in line with its goals of increasing investment levels. The development bank also purchased the debentures issued and has the right to sell them to the market when it thinks the time is right.
“Our goal was to have a solid financial structure that did not require new transactions during the life of the concession,” Carvalho concludes.
BNDES (lender), Itau BBA (financial advisor)
Mattos Filho, Stocche Forbes
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