Irish-investment bank Rubicon Infrastructure Advisors has hired two new executives to work in its first Latin American office in Bogotá, Colombia, according to a 23 October company press release.
Rubicon has hired Patria Investimentos’ Colombian head Andrés O’Byrne as managing director and Juan José Montoya, who until recently was executive director and head of global finance at BBVA Colombia.
The company has identified opportunities in the transportation and renewables sectors across Colombia, Chile, Peru and Mexico, according to managing director Jesús González Torrijos.
Torrijos could not give specifics of new or past transactions but did reveal that Rubicon is working on a sellside mandate for a Mexican highway sale and that deal is being done from out of Dublin.
Torrijos indicated that there is the possibility that Rubicon will open a Mexican office in the future. “In Colombia we see that there are opportunities in projects like the new metro, the new El Dorado airport and the shift in the 4G road program from greenfield financings to an M&A phase,” he said.
According to Torrijos, Rubicon is assessing opportunities in Colombian renewables and currently looking at an opportunity with a platform that has some Colombian projects.
He pointed to January’s Clean Energy auction and said that backup plants could be successful in that auction as it is not limited to renewable energy projects. Torrijos said that opening subsidiary Rubicon Capital Advisors in Colombia is part of a global company-wide strategy of expansion into the infrastructure space.
“We expanded our team in New York in 2018 from two to twelve people and we’re planning to expand the Colombian office from two to five people shortly,” he said. Torrijos told Inframation that given its dominant position in Spain, Rubicon does a lot of work with Spanish contractors like Ferrovial, Sacyr, Comsa, Cointer, Acciona and Grupo ACS amongst others along with financial investors and pension plans such as Allianz, CDPQ and PSP Investments.
Torrijos also said that the company is in discussions with local companies over possible mandates without giving further details. Rubicon’s plan is to offer the same services in equity and debt that they have in other
regions through their M&A, debt, advisory and possibly bidding advisory services.
Torrijos said that the company has spent some time figuring out Brazil, which was familiar to O’Byrne in his last job at Patria, but the long reflection is that one has to do something big and complex out of Brazil.
Eventually they could have a presence, but the idea is to begin with Colombia and the countries further south to start with.
This piece was written by Jonathan Carmody on October 23, 2018.