Update: Financial Close was completed on 28 October 2019 for a total consideration of £62 million

John Laing Group (‘John Laing’), the international active investor and partner behind responsible infrastructure and renewable energy projects, announces that it has entered into an agreement for its first investment in Latin America.

John Laing has agreed to acquire 30% of the Ruta del Cacao road project in Colombia for approximately £62 million. Partners in the project are Cintra/Ferrovial, Colpatria and Ashmore. The project involves the development of 236km of road, providing a valuable connection between the cities of Bucaramanga, Barrancabermeja and Yondó in the Santander Department of North-Eastern Colombia.  The acquisition is expected to complete over the coming weeks, subject to customary consents.

Over its 25-year term, with an option to extend for a further four, this project requires design, build, finance, operation and maintenance, including the construction of new roads, tunnels, viaducts, bridges and toll stations, as well as upgrading existing road tranches. The construction phase is expected to be completed by 2021.

Ruta del Cacao is part of the Colombian government’s Fourth Generation road building programme to create a national road network through Public Private Partnership (PPP).

In addition we recently acquired a 75% interest in a wind farm in the US for approximately £75 million.

Olivier Brousse, John Laing's Chief Executive Officer, said:

“This is an important development for John Laing with Ruta del Cacao representing our first investment in Latin America, a region with a strong pipeline of new opportunities. With our extensive experience delivering infrastructure projects, we believe we can help the Colombian government fulfil its ambitious road plan and deliver attractive, risk-adjusted returns for our investors.

We are delighted to be involved alongside Cintra/Ferrovial, longstanding partners of ours, and Colpatria and Ashmore, all of which have many years of relevant experience in infrastructure in Colombia.

Users of this road will benefit from travel time reductions and significant road safety improvements. We expect the project will have a positive impact on the Santander region and the local communities it serves.

Looking ahead, we continue to assess investment opportunities elsewhere in Colombia and in other Latin American countries, such as Chile.”

Alex Yew, Managing Director for Latin America, said:

“After two years of assessing the Colombian market, we are pleased to be investing in Ruta del Cacao alongside leading international and local partners. We hope this initial collaboration will serve as a strong foundation for us to work on future opportunities.

We look forward to being actively involved in the project, and bringing our experience in financing, project management and road infrastructure delivery. We will also be able to draw on the local experience of our in-house team of infrastructure professionals based in Bogota.”