Saudi Public Investment Fund and Patria Investments partner on US$1.2 billion infrastructure project in Brazil


(MENAFN- Hill & Knowlton) United Arab Emirates, 30 November 2023: Patria Investments, a leader in alternative asset management strategies in Latin America, has successfully partnered with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) in a consortium to secure a 30-year concession for the capacity extension and operation of a major new brownfield toll road project in the Brazilian state of Parana.

PIF, the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, was awarded the toll road project with Patria as part of a US$1.2bn capital expenditure investment through an official auction held by the Brazilian Government. The new road represents 473km in the existing toll highway system in Parana, one of the largest and most prosperous states in Brazil, with all associated operations overseen by Patria and PIF until 2053 as per the agreement.

Running from Curitiba to Guarapuava and connecting Ponta Grossa with São José dos Pinhais, the toll road capacity extension is set to be a relevant capacity boost to Parana’s current transport infrastructure and highway links that serve the southern Brazilian state. Home to more than 11.5 million people, Parana is ranked as one of the top-five performing states nationally with a yearly GDP of USD 130bn.

As the first major infrastructure management auction launched under the administration of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the project reflects growing economic ties between Latin America and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries including KSA, particularly in terms of direct investment and strategic long-term partnerships.

Patria’s successful partnering with PIF taps into a growing appetite from GCC nations and sovereign funds to enter Latin America. Patria’s knowledge and capabilities in managing a diverse network of assets means GCC-based partners are now able to explore varied investments in a broad range of sectors that would otherwise sit outside of their usual scope of interest and expertise.

Announced before the official state visit of a Brazilian Presidential delegation to Saudi Arabia from November 28-29, the toll road project also builds on the recent invitation extended to Saudi Arabia to join BRICS, the intergovernmental organisation consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

As a popular and resilient asset with a clear and mature growth trajectory in terms of daily traffic use, Brazil’s toll road system is an attractive option for foreign direct investment (FDI) platforms looking for opportunities in Latin America’s largest country and most dynamic economy. Representing the main logistical arteries that connect both communities and businesses nationwide, toll roads and highways are a critical part of the transport matrix in Brazil.

The announcement of the new Parana toll road project between Patria and PIF reinforces Patria’s already well-established footprint in this growing segment of investment. Its funds currently operate over 4,000km of toll roads through which about 230 million vehicle pass every year.

With more than 30 years of successful investment in private equity, infrastructure, real estate, and credit sectors, Patria represents the ideal partners for PIF and other GCC partners, financial institutions, and ambitious sovereign funds to diversify their portfolios by seeking new capital investment opportunities within one of the world’s most dynamic and expansive regions.

Despite the global FDI landscape showing signs of fracturing, Latin America is experiencing historic levels of FDI. As a result, the partnership between Patria and PIF taps into the growing appeal of Latin American markets as geopolitical and inflationary safe havens.

This is particularly the case for sovereign wealth funds such as PIF, which follow the mandate of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan to explore fresh opportunities to diversity the range and scope of investments by targeting opportunities in new and maturing sectors, such as toll roads and various essential legacy transport infrastructure projects.

With extensive experience in building assets across Latin America that maximize the region’s unique investment qualities while mitigating potential downsides, Patria produces consistent and recurrent results that have a proven, and long-lasting positive impact for its clients as well as the regions and communities their investment serves.

Andre Sales, Managing Partner & CEO of Patria’s infrastructure vertical, said: “We are proud to partner with PIF in this investment, which now becomes a strong conduit between Saudi Arabia and Latin America. Patria is confident about the outstanding quality of this toll road asset and excited with the large pipeline of new toll road concessions expected for the coming years in Brazil and other countries in the region.”

Renan Filho, Brazilian Minister of Transportation (TBC) “Investing in transportation infrastructure is a key topic for the Brazilian government agenda, as it generates significant impact in terms of jobs and efficiency, and also positive social and environmental impact for the country. PIF and Patria’s participation in this toll road auction is a clear sign of the quality of the Brazilian transportation assets and the Federal Government’s concessions program.”

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