In the works since at least September, the Veracruz-Cardel securitization of future toll-road revenues hit the market Feb. 4. BBVA Bancomer was lead manager and Inbursa was co-lead. Amounting to Ps700 million (US$64 million), the deal's originator is the Veracruz-Cardel highway, which links the steamy Gulf port of Veracruz to the state capital of Jalapa. Rated mxAA+' by Standard & Poor's and AA+(mex)' by Fitch Ratings, the transaction yielded 7.95% over inflation-indexed UDIs. Judging by the last tollroad transaction, pricing was fair. Chihuahua issued a Ps1.1 billion (US$101 million) bond on Dec. 19 at 7.5% plus UDI, but that deal enjoyed higher ratings from Fitch of AAA(mex).'

Termed at 12 years, the Veracruz-Cardel bond is bolstered by a contingency fund that holds steady at 28 million UDIs (now about US$8.3 million) until maturity in November 2014. Further support comes from a maintenance fund worth Ps26 million (US$2.4 million). The coupon pays semi-annually. Proceeds are going to refinance short-term debt.

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