Milbank LLP represented the banks as initial purchasers in connection with the $750 million dual-currency corporate bond offering by Empresas Públicas de Medellín E.S.P. (EPM), Colombia’s largest public utility services company. The offering was issued in two tranches, including US$575 million offering of 4.375% senior unsecured notes due 2031 and the concurrent COP$635 billion (US$175 million) reopening of its 8.375% senior notes due 2027. This is EPM’s first corporate bond issuance in 2020 and it’s sixth in the international markets. EPM will use the proceeds to strengthen its liquidity and financial position during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Milbank deal team was led by Global Capital Markets partner Carlos Albarracín, along with associates Andres Osornio, Jesus Narvaez and International Attorney Juan Pablo Aspe. Partner Andrew Walker and associate Benjamin Heller provided tax advice on the transaction.
Mr. Albarracín said: “We are pleased to have once again represented the underwriters on another EPM international bond offering, which plays a major role in Colombia’s thriving economy. This further contributes to the continued development of power generation infrastructure in Colombia and demonstrates the strong commitment of international investors to support EPM and the Colombian power sector, even in the midst of current challenges posed by Covid-19 and uncertainty in the international capital markets. The yield of the new 2031 notes issued by EPM is one of the lowest yields to date in the Colombian market, which shows continued international investor support for Colombian issuers.”
Milbank continues to have a strong presence in Colombia. Milbank’s other recent major transactions in Colombia, includes the recent representation in June 2020 of Grupo Energía Bogotá (GEB) in its $400 million offering of 4.875% senior notes due 2030, in May 2020 the underwriters in the $2 billion bond offering by Ecopetrol (Colombia’s state-owned oil and gas major) in April 2020, and in October 2019 of TGI (Colombia’s largest gas transmission company) in the $750 million Rule 144A/Reg S. In 2019, we also represented the initial purchasers in the dual-currency $1.4 billion Rule 144A senior notes offering and the initial purchasers in the COP$2.3 trillion (approximately US$750 million) Colombian Peso-denominated Rule 144A senior notes offering and GEB in the COP$1.925 billion (approximately US$669 million) first ever dual-track secondary equity offering by a Colombia state-owned company.