Consortium, which won its second concession in Minas Gerais, plans to study new assets
Equipav, a group with interests in a range of sectors including infrastructure and mining, and asset management company Perfin plan to develop together a highway concession platform in Brazil. The partnership started with two concessions in Minas Gerais, but there are plans to study new assets.
The consortium formed by the two companies won on Wednesday the auction to build the Sul de Minas lot through a public-private partnership (PPP). Last week, the group had already won a road concession in the region known as Triângulo Mineiro. The idea is that, from now on, the partnership will be consolidated, said José Carlos Cassaniga, director at Equipav Rodovias.
“The idea is that Equipav and Perfin will now look at the road concession industry together, on this platform, with a qualified look, and with capital discipline. This is our purpose,” he said. “It is a partnership that complements each other.”, he said.
In the auction of the Sul de Minas Lot, the consortium beat the offer of its only competitor, Monte Rodovias, after an open outcry auction. It ended with a final ended with a proposal of R$378 million, or a discount of 14% over the maximum payment defined in the public notice.
The lot includes 454.3 kilometers of roads. The estimated investment is R$2.3 billion, and operating expenses are estimated at R$2.3 billion more over the 30-year contract period. The Triângulo Mineiro Lot, won last week in a non-competitive auction, includes 627 km of roads and foresees R$3.2 billion in construction work.
The two lots will allow some synergies in the administrative field and contract management, Mr. Cassaniga said. “It is the same regulation, the same government.”
The auctions mark the debut of Equipav and Perfin in the highway sector. Equipav is a shareholder of Aegea Saneamento and has worked in highways in the past. Perfin was already active in the infrastructure sector, but the areas of electricity and basic sanitation. The asset management company has more than R$23 billion under management, of which about R$6 billion are allocated to infrastructure funds.
The auction ends the sequence of three road auctions started last week by the Minas Gerais government. In addition to the two lots, the Belo Horizonte beltway was auctioned – and won by the Italian company INC.
By the end of this year, the Minas Gerais government plans to launch other concession projects, said Fernando Marcato, the state’s infrastructure, and mobility secretary.
One concession is that of the Belo Horizonte subway, to be held in partnership with the federal government. The secretary said he will be in Brasília on Thursday to meet Federal Court of Accounts (TCU) members Vital do Rêgo (rapporteur of the auction process) and Antônio Anastasia. “There is already a favorable opinion from TCU officials. If the court greenlights the project, and we expect it to do so, we can launch [the bidding] later this year, maybe in a month,” he said.
In the segment of highways, the government is working on three other projects. One of them, the BR-356, which will link Belo Horizonte and Ouro Preto, will require a public contribution. The funds may be unlocked by the compensation agreement being negotiated between the state and mining company Vale linked to the damage caused by the Mariana dam collapse.
There are still four other lots being structured in partnership with the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES). Investment values will be updated accordingly to the new input inflation scenario. The big challenge, according to the secretary, is in drawing investors.
*By Taís Hirata — São Paulo
Source: Valor International