Autopistas Metropolitanas de Puerto Rico (metropistas) announced the closing of a $120 million bond issuance to refinance a portion of its debt, in what constitutes the company’s second successful placement in the market in three months and one of the few bond issuances in the Puerto Rican infrastructure industry since the beginning of the economic recession and the devastation that left hurricane María.
The bond issuance, bought mainly by local investors, closed with favorable terms and an investment grade credit rating, an achievement for metropistas who thereby manages to maintain the credit rating of its bonds notwithstanding the economic environment, the company said.
Metropistas officials said the proceeds from the bond issuance will allow the company to optimize its capital structure without the need to incur in additional debt. On Feb. 27, 2019, metropistas announced the closing of a $181 million bond issuance also to partially refinance a portion of its short-term debt.
“These two bond issuances reflect the market’s support of and confidence in metropistas’ successful management during the seven years that the consortium has operated and managed highways PR-22 (De Diego Expressway) and PR-5. Furthermore, in view of the complicated financial environment in Puerto Rico, the issuances also reflect the market’s appetite for investments in the infrastructure industry on the Island,” said metropistas CEO, Gonzalo Alcalde.
Metropistas is a consortium that has operated highways PR-22 (De Diego Expressway) and PR-5 since 2011 and is responsible for improving, rehabilitating and developing this infrastructure and for offering world-class services.
Alcaide said the achievement was possible, in part, thanks to the support of the government of Puerto Rico through its Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority, which has reaffirmed its commitment to public-private partnership projects, such as the one established in 2011 with metropistas for the management of highways PR-22 and PR-5.
“With this new issuance and the continued support of the Government of Puerto Rico, metropistas reaffirms its continued commitment with the Island’s economic development through important infrastructure projects,” Alcalde said.
Metropistas engaged Credit Agricole Securities (USA) Inc., ING Financial Markets LLC and Santander Investment Securities Inc., as placement agents. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and McConnell Valdés LLC, acted as the company´s legal counsel, and Milbank LLP and Adsuar Muñiz Goyco Seda & Pérez-Ochoa, P.S.C. acted as the lender´s legal counsel.