ASUR and Highstar receive debt commitments for San Juan airport

Washington DC
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Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste (ASUR) and Highstar Capital-owned Aerostar Airport Holdings has received commitments from banks for up to $410 million in secured debt for the San Juan Luiz Munoz Marin airport concession.

The airport concession is a first in the USA, where either local governments or local quasi-governmental authorities operate most airports.

International and Puerto Rican lenders will provide the debt that is split between a $350 million term loan for the upfront payment, a $50 million term loan for capital expenditures and a $10 million revolver.

Banco Popular Puerto Rico, Banco Santander, BBVA, Credit Agricole, Scotia, Societe Generale and WestLB participated along with other banks in a $1.14 billion financing of the 40-year PR-22 and PR-5 toll road concession - the first such deal in Puerto Rico - in 2011. Abertis and Goldman Sachs Infrastructure were equity investors in the toll road.

Mexico-based ASUR will also provide a subordinate $100 million loan to Aerostar for the upfront payment that is priced at 200bp over Libor.

Aerostar must make a $615 million upfront payment to the Puerto Rico Ports Authority (PRPA) as well as make $1.4 billion in capital improvements to the airport over the term of the 40-year concession. Capital investment will total $195 million during the first three years.

Commercial and financial close is pending approval of the public-private partnership (PPP) under the US Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) privatisation pilot programme and receipt of a part 139 operating certificate from the aviation authority, says ASUR in a statement. The equity investor adds that an application has been submitted to the FAA for approval of the concession.

The PRPA awarded ASUR and Highstar, who each own 50% of the equity in the project company, the airport concession in July. The Puerto Rico PPP Authority advised it on the deal.