British infrastructure investor John Laing Group has agreed to acquire a 30% stake in the Ruta del Cacao Colombian road project for around £62m ($67.8m).

Subject to customary approvals, the company expects to complete the acquisition in the coming weeks.

Other companies partnering on the project include Cintra / Ferrovial, Ashmore and Colpatria.

The Ruta del Cacao project involves the construction of a 236m road connecting Bucaramanga, Barrancabermeja and Yondó in north-east Colombia.

It includes the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of the road, multiple bridges, tunnels and toll stations.

The total tenure of the project is estimated to be 25 years with the option for a four-year extension. Its first construction phase is expected to be completed by 2021.

The Ruta del Cacao project forms part of the Colombian Government’s fourth-generation road-building programme, which aims to establish a national road network via public-private partnership (PPP).

John Laing CEO Olivier Brousse said: “This is an important development for John Laing with Ruta del Cacao representing our first investment in Latin America, a region with a strong pipeline of new opportunities.

“Users of this road will benefit from travel time reductions and significant road safety improvements. We expect the project will have a positive impact on the Santander region and the local communities it serves. Looking ahead, we continue to assess investment opportunities elsewhere in Colombia and in other Latin American countries such as Chile.”

John Laing managing director for Latin America Alex Yew said: “We look forward to being actively involved in the project and bringing our experience in financing, project management and road infrastructure delivery. We will also be able to draw on the local experience of our in-house team of infrastructure professionals based in Bogota.”

John Laing is an investor and manager of infrastructure projects. The company’s business focuses on major transport, social and environmental projects awarded under government PPP programmes.