New York: Leading international law firm Clifford Chance has advised CMI Energía, the renewable energy business unit of agro-industrial conglomerate Corporación Multi Inversiones (CMI), on the refinancing of approximately US$1 billion in existing project finance debt owed by its subsidiaries in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic.
The transaction involved a combination of (i) US$700 million 6.25% Senior Secured Notes due 2029 (the Notes) issued by Investment Energy Resources Limited (IERL), and (ii) a US$300 million loan (the Loan Facility) provided to IERL by a syndicate of Central American banks. Both the Notes and the Loan Facility are guaranteed by operating subsidiaries of IERL (the Guarantors) and are secured by a pledge of CMI's common stock in the Guarantors. The transaction closed on April 26, 2021.
CMI Energía is one of the largest renewable energy businesses in Latin America, focusing on wind, solar and hydro technologies. The proceeds of the bond will be used to finance green projects in the categories of renewable energy, energy efficiency, green buildings and clean transportation. CMI Energía anticipates that this bond will help execute its sustainability priorities and support the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Partner Hugo Triaca led the transaction, with support from associates Andrés Berry, Mariana Estévez and Luis Fortuño, and law clerk Maria Kim. Partner Avrohom Gelber and associate Sean Smestad advised on tax, with partner Paul Koppel and associate Thomas Koh advising on the ERISA aspects of the transaction. Partner Jefferey LeMaster and associate Matthew Press provided assistance with the '40 Act elements of the transaction.
Commenting on the matter Triaca said, "We are thrilled to have represented CMI Energía on this iconic transaction, the first one in the international capital markets for the CMI group in the context of its 100th anniversary. Green bonds are at the forefront of sustainable finance, and we are proud to join forces with CMI Energía to further our shared commitment to sustainability and the environment."
Clifford Chance has long been recognized for its track record of advising on the most innovative and cutting-edge sustainability bond transactions. The firm was recently named Law Firm of the Year and advised on two award winning transactions at the Environmental Finance Bond Awards 2021, including the US$1.2 billion sovereign bond issuance by the Republic of Guatemala.