The $3 billion revolving credit facility closed on by the Mexican Federal Government this week is a crucial step toward financing what is set to become one of the world’s busiest airports. The new terminal in the Mexican capital city will replace the existing Benito Juarez International Airport.
The Mexican government, through Grupo Aeroportuario de la Ciudad de Mexico (GACM), closed the $3 billion facility to support the construction of Mexico City's new international airport, NAICM, on Wednesday (7 October 2015).
Citigroup, HSBC and JP Morgan were global coordinators of the loan and will be lead arrangers for a long-term US dollar denominated bond financing that will follow. GACM aims to close on a $6 billion debt package required to fund the first stage of the project.
The revolver included a syndication process in which BBVA Bancomer and Banco Santander participated as senior mandated lead arranger, Banco Inbursa, MUFG, Credit Agricole and Scotiabank were arrangers and Banco Sabadell, ING, Mizuho and SMBC were lead managers.
The revolver will take out a $1 billion financing that closed in October 2014, in which Banco Inbursa, BBVA Bancomer, Citigroup and HSBC acted as joint lead arrangers and bookrunners. The financing agreement allows for the issuance of up to $3 billion in dollar denominated bonds, but exactly when they launch and for exactly how much will depend on market conditions, sources told IJGlobal.
GACM will repay the debt using revenue generated from airport passenger fees, known as TUA, from the existing Benito Juarez airport. The overall project cost was initially estimated at around Ps169 billion ($10.3 billion), but this could rise in light of the depreciation of the peso, as some of the development costs are dollarised. Federal resources will fund the remainder of the project.
British architect Norman Foster won the contract for the design of the futuristic airport project in September 2014, in a joint venture with Fernando Romero, a son-in-law of Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim. The new terminal will provide a solution to the increasing air traffic that the city faces, as the Benito Juarez terminal is operating at capacity. The airport is slated to become the busiest in terms of passenger traffic in Latin America, and the third globally.
In its first phase the airport will have three runways and serve an estimated 50 million passengers per year. This will increase to six runways and 120 million passengers after phase two is completed. Construction is scheduled to last between four and six years.
Mexico's Ministry of Transport and Communications (SCT) is overseeing the procurement of the project. There are at least 21 packages of tenders for the construction.
LatAm's airport wave
Latin America is experiencing a wave of investment into airport infrastructure. There are a number of assets in tender or financing stage.
Brazil was met with strong investor appetite when it kicked off the first round of airport privatisations in 2012, which included the concession for the Guarulhos international airport (GRU) in São Paulo, the busiest terminal in the country. In April 2014, a consortium comprising Corporación América and local firm Andino Investment Holding was named preferred bidder to develop the Chinchero international airport (AICC) project in Peru. The group has hired Goldman Sachs to structure a multi-tranche deal which will feature a working capital facility and bonds in the debt package.
In February 2015 Chile's Ministry of Public Works (MOP) selected French-Italian consortium Grupo Nuevo Pudahuel, for the re-tendering of the Santiago Arturo Merino Benitez international airport concession. Santander is advising on a dual tranche financing to fund an expansion of the airport.
Latam Capital Advisors was financial adviser to GACM. HSBC was administration agent. Jones Day (Mexico) and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (New York) provided counsel to GACM in the syndication process. Paul Hastings and Galicia Abogados advised the lenders in the transaction.