October 29, 2020 — The firm was recognized at LatinFinance’s 2020 Project & Infrastructure Finance Awards for its representation of the Republic of Paraguay in a historic $657.6 million financing to expand, improve and maintain two of the country’s national highways.

The transaction for the national routes 2 and 7 road project – the first public-private partnership in Paraguay and the largest private investment in the history of the South American nation – was awarded “Infrastructure Financing of the Year: Southern Cone.”

The Project & Infrastructure Finance Awards, held on Sept. 30, recognize the most impressive transactions and institutions in a field critical to the economic progress in the region. LatinFinance’s editorial staff determined the winners based on an exhaustive selection process involving the examination of the market significance, complexity, social impact and the reception by market participants, among other criteria.

The financing for the national routes 2 and 7 road project involved a complex, multi-tranche structure that combined a securitization of government receivables with a letter of credit facility and a project financing. Goldman Sachs structured the $457.6 million securitization issued in October 2019 through a 144A/Reg S bond offering by Rutas del Este, the winning consortium formed by international construction companies Sacyr of Spain and Ocho A of Paraguay. The Inter-American Investment Corp. arranged a $200 million project financing and the letter of credit facility that included the International Development Bank.

The project is part of a larger nationwide building program that includes more than $6.8 billion for highways, water and waste projects. HHR also advised Paraguay concerning the development of the Bioceánico highway, which will ultimately connect the Pacific and Atlantic oceans across South America.

The national routes 2 and 7 road project will widen and improve 149 km of federal highway between the capital of Asunción and Ciudad del Este, the second-largest city in the country. The project is considered critical for the growth of Paraguay, with the highways serving as key infrastructure for economic activity.

The project is the first one to be developed after the government passed a PPP law to attract direct foreign investment to the country. The project began in August 2019 and is expected to be completed in 2022.

Freddie Goudie led the team, which also included Emilio Saiz, Jenny Graham, Jim Alford, Andrew Fowler, Gary Simon and Shahzeb Lari.