Mayer Brown provided counsel on the Abengoa Transmisión Sur (ATS) transaction, which was named the 2014 “Americas Bond Deal of the Year” by Project Finance International (PFI) as part of the publication’s annual PFI Awards. The awards recognize deal innovation, best practice, problem solving, risk mitigation, value for money and speed of delivery in the financing of infrastructure projects.

A power transmission line spanning half the length of Peru, the new ATS energy transmission line is a key piece of the Peruvian government’s plan to extend the reach and reliability of the national power grid. Mayer Brown represented both HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. and BNP Paribas Securities Corp. as joint lead arrangers and sole bookrunners in the $344 million commercial bank mini-perm financing and BNP Paribas Securities Corp. and HSBC as underwriters in the $432 million issuance of a senior secured project bond issued by ATS.

One reason the ATS project bond is significant is that at the time of issuance in early 2014, it was the largest Peruvian dollar-denominated project bond ever issued and the first to be issued with a 29-year tenor—a time-span remarkable for its duration in today’s credit climate. The financing of this project represents precisely what many in the industry expect to become a common paradigm in the future: commercial banks financing the construction stage of the project and then seeing their balance sheets recycled by having, upon completion of construction, the mini-perm financing replaced by a long-term bond (whose tenor is a better match to the long life of the asset and which then frees the banks’ capital for deployment in other construction-stage projects).

Mayer Brown’s participation in Abengoa Transmisión Sur continues its pioneering role in the fast-developing Latin American project bond sector. The firm previously advised the underwriters and loan arrangers on the approximately $520 million senior secured bond issued by and an approximately $200 million senior secured loan to Rutas de Lima S.A.C. for a public-private partnership toll road project in Lima, Peru, among other widely-reported Latin American project bonds.

The Mayer Brown team was led by partners Christopher Erckert (Banking & Finance, New York/Washington DC) and David Bakst (Corporate & Securities, New York) and included Banking & Finance partner Curtis Doty (New York) and associates Sean Kulkarni (Washington DC) and Augusto Ruiloba (New York).

Mayer Brown’s multidisciplinary domestic and cross-border infrastructure practice group advises on a full range of infrastructure transactions. The practice is consistently ranked in leading guides, including Chambers USA, Chambers Latin America, Chambers Asia and Legal 500. Additionally, lawyers in the practice have been recognized for their innovativeness in handling numerous complex deals within the infrastructure sector by top-tier business and industry publications, including Financial Times, The American Lawyer, Infrastructure Investor and The Bond Buyer.

Published by Thomson Reuters, Project Finance International is the leading source of global project finance intelligence.