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TORRE VIRREYES, PEDREGAL 24, 24TH FLOOR, COL. MOLINO DEL REY, MEXICO CITY, 11040, MEXICO
Tel:
Work +52 55 4748 0600
Fax:
Fax +52 55 4748 0690
Email:
Web:
www.creel.mx
Mexico City, Monterrey

Mexico

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Undoubtedly ‘one of the best full-service law firms’, the ‘outstandingCreel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. is ‘in its element when it comes to banking work’. Practice head Carlos Aiza has built a team of ‘astonishing quality’; over 30-strong (including six partners), according to clients it ‘always obtains successful results’ – reflecting a broader market consensus that the firm ‘has simply become first choice for complex financing matters–period’; ‘they know the law, they know the market, their responses are solid and swift and they have the capacity to resolve any problems that arise’. The practice handles the full range of sophisticated financing matters, including acquisition-, corporate-, project – and structured-financings, syndicated loans and derivatives, and the firm’s development of a sophisticated and sizeable tax practice over the last four years, has added an additional facet to the capabilities the firm can bring to bear in complex matters. Client favourite Pedro Velascois not only timely and responsive, he’s knowledgeable and always has an upbeat attitude’. His recent stellar caseload saw him lead advice to BNP Paribas and UniCredit Bank on the establishment of a €2bn Euro MTN programme by Saipem; Banorte on an amended and restated $185m loan to Inmobiliaria Hotelera; and act as lead counsel to GE Oil and Gas Products and Services, and Vetco Gray de México, on a $325m factoring agreement with Mitsui Banking Corporation, as buyer, with regard to PEMEX receivables. In what was perhaps his highlight mandate, Velasco also advised Blackrock, as general partner of the 2014 CKD Fund (F/175992), on a MXN$2bn, subscription line backed by the capital calls of a CKD, a first-of-its-kind deal. Giovanni Ramirez advised JP Morgan, as administrative agent and lender, on a $229.5m term loan and a $400m revolving bank loan (both with extended tranches) provided to Navistar; and also advised Credit Suisse (Cayman Islands branch), as administrative agent, on a $150m loan to Softtek Integration Systems. Rodrigo Castelazo advised Credit Suisse (Cayman Islands branch), as lead arranger on a $400m dual-currency senior secured guaranteed term loan facility for Grupo Bio Pappel; and also paired up with Ramirez to handle distinct aspects of FIBRA Macquarie Mexico’s unsecured $685m refinancing programme; with Castelazo handling the unsecured bank credit facility and private notes placement, and Ramirez the repayment of secured loans. A partner since 2015, Mercedes Haddad advised Banorte on an MXN$4bn revolving loan to FHipo for the financing of mortgage loans originated by FOVISSSTE. Key figures in a strong second line include Victor Gallegos and Emilio Aarun, as well as Alejandro Isaac who is currently an international visiting attorney at Dechert LLP. Lenders side clients include Barclays, Banamex, Santander, Banco del Bajío, Commerzbank, Credit Agricole, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, ING Bank, IDB, Morgan Stanley, Nafin, Scotiabank, UBS; and on the borrower side, Braskem IDESA, Grupo México, Macquarie México Real Estate Management, Mexico Retail Properties, Mira Companies, Planigrupo, Prudential Real Estate Investors and Walton Street Capital.

Leading lawyers

Carlos Aiza - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Giovanni Ramirez Garrido - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Pedro Velasco - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Next generation lawyers

Emilio Aarun - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Mercedes Haddad A - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Victor Gallegos - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

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Bankruptcy and restructuring
Bankruptcy and restructuring - ranked: tier 3

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Offering ‘great response times, great business acumen (and) great advise for difficult situations‘ according to clients, ‘excellent law firmCreel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. is ‘incredibly responsive and very savvy about international financial transactions’, according to international peers. It is on the strength of this financial practice that the firm continues to develop its participation in the bankruptcy sector, covering the full range of non-contentious insolvency-related matters including corporate recovery, restructuring and workouts, representing both creditors and debtors. ‘Creative and willing to come up with solutions’, key partner Rodrigo Castelazo has ‘a very good “bedside manner” with clients and knows how to answer their questions efficiently and effectively – he is very results-oriented and knows how to get a deal done’. Senior associate Emilio Aarun is ‘a rising star’ according to clients who regard him as ‘without doubt one of the most committed lawyers that we have worked with’; ‘always available’, he has the ability to ‘organize a relatively small team to take on a big project’. Recent matters saw the pair advise the bond-holders in the $100m restructuring of Arendal’s 2016 medium notes issue; and Credit Suisse, as administrative agent and lender regarding a $409m syndicated facility to Bio Pappel employed to restructure its existing debt. Practice head Carlos Aiza and Pedro Velasco led a team acting as special counsel to Banorte on the restructuring of its debt with GEO; and, in ongoing work, are advising a group of Brazilian bondholders (and recognised creditors) in Desarrolladora Homex’s MXN$7bn restructuring. Aiza is hailed as ‘one of the finest lawyers in Mexico’ and is frequently asked ‘to opine on particularly tough issues as a “second look”’. Velasco, in turn, also handled the restructuring of a MXN$3bn loan to Mexico Retail Properties (MRP) by Banorte. Mercedes Haddad is also increasing active in the practice. Other clients include IDB, ING Wholesale Banking, Actinver Wealth Management, Invex and CI Banco.

Leading lawyers

Carlos Aiza - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

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Capital markets
Capital markets - ranked: tier 1

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Judged ‘excellent’ on all service counts from industry knowledge to value-for-money, Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. is ‘extraordinary’; with clients suggesting it has ‘more experience that its competitors’, and specifically highlighting that ‘no other firm in Mexico has its depth when working on CKDs’. Indeed, the firm has advised on more than 90% of all CKD offerings to date. The 36-strong team includes eight partners and has a strong track record for ‘first-of-their-kind’ transactions, including the first-ever mortgage REIT, and the first-ever asset-backed commercial paper conduit in Mexico. Continuing that tradition, headline mandates saw practice head Carlos Aiza lead advice to Promotora y Operadora de Infraestructura (PINFRA), with Rodrigo Castelazo handling the capital markets aspects, on the country’s first-ever energy and infrastructure investment trust (“Fibra-E”) issuance of MXN$12bn, for the acquisition of a 40% equity interest in Pasca, the concessionaire and operator of the Mexico City-Toluca toll road; the advice included all regulatory, corporate governance and conflict of interest mitigation aspects. The pair also advised brokers Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, Santander, Banamex and Evercore on IE-Nova’s MXN$24.5bn global follow-on offering. In other novel, high-profile matters, Carlos Zamarrón advised MIRA on its MXN$4bn Certificado de Proyecto de Inversión (“CerPI”) offering, constituting both the first-ever CERPI and the first fund structured as a two stage vehicle. Castelazo ‘epitomizes knowledge’, while Carlos Zamarrón unfailingly demonstrates ‘deep knowledge and understanding of legal/regulatory items’, ‘high level commitment’ and the ‘ability to think outside the norm and help create novel structures’. Both have been highly active, with Castelazo advising Grupo Interacciones subsidiaries FCI Administradora and Estrategia en Finanzas & Infraestructura on the establishment of a MXN$3bn CKD trust and an associated MXN$3.5bn offering; and Zamarrón advising Mexico Retail Properties on an MXN$8.5bn CKD offering. Castelazo also counselled CKD Infraestructura Mexico on its MXN$1.2bn issuance of an Optional Series of Certificates backed by a capital call mechanism, another first-of-its-kind transaction; and Walton CKD2 on the establishment of its second CKD trust and a MXN$1.4bn public offering. Mercedes Haddad, working in conjunction with Aiza, led advice to the Mexican underwriters and the placement agents on Vinte’s MXN$1.2bn IPO; and Citigroup Global Markets, Credit Suisse Securities and JP Morgan Securities, as initial purchasers, on retailer Liverpool’s $750m senior notes issue. Name partner Jean Michel Enriquezknows capital markets transactions inside-out’, and Giovanni Ramirez Garrido, Pedro Velasco and Jorge Montaño are also all active in the practice. Other clients include Banamex Accival, Bank of America, Banorte, Citibank, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs; and on the issuer-side, Southern Cross Group, FIBRA Terrafina, Prologis and PREI.

Leading lawyers

Carlos Aiza - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Jean Michel Enríquez - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

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Competition and antitrust
Competition and antitrust - ranked: tier 1

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.’s market-leading team is praised for its ‘excellent response times’ and ‘business knowledge’. Practice head Luis Gerardo García is considered one of the ‘best antitrust lawyers in the market’, ‘always giving innovative solutions’, and fellow partner Mauricio Serralde also has a strong reputation. With a wide-ranging practice, the firm has been involved in some of the larger merger clearances and investigations in the market. Significant mandates included acting as co-counsel to Anheuser-Busch InBev on the domestic aspects of its SABMiller takeover. Another highlight was advising Nokia Corporation on the pre-merger filing connected to its global takeover of Alcatel-Lucent. Other major clients include KKR, AT&T, BlackRock, Delta Air Lines and Sanofi.

Leading lawyers

Luis Gerardo García - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Next generation lawyers

Jorge Kargl - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

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Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 1

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. is one of the market’s premier firms for corporate and M&A. Group head Jean Michel Enríquez’s ‘legal knowledge in M&A is outstanding, and he leads a team of highly trained attorneys’. The team now has five partners, following the promotion of Humberto Botti, and Carlos Del Río, Eduardo González and Jorge Montaño are all well regarded. The firm recently advised Ontex Global on its €314m takeover of Grupo PI Mabe; and advised GE Capital on the $1bn sale of its equipment lending and leasing business to Linzor Capital Partners. The firm also advised RSA Insurance on the $614m sale of its Latin American operations to Suramericana, Grupo SURA’s insurance and risk management subsidiary.

Leading lawyers

Jean Michel Enríquez - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Next generation lawyers

Humberto Botti - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 2

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. is ‘exceptional in every way’, and its advice is ‘practical, highly insightful, professional, very appropriately given and excellent value for money’, with the team also noted as ‘understanding the US regulations and clients’ expectations on compliance’. The firm recently advised Terminal KMS de GNL on issues surrounding the amendment of a concession title to use federal land administered by the National Water Commission. ‘Extremely talented’ practice head Carlos de Icaza has ‘a broad understanding of policy, and a practical and intelligent approach to business’. Clients include Colgate-Palmolive, Ethos Energy Group, and KST Electric Power Company.

Leading lawyers

Carlos de Icaza - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Next generation lawyers

Jessica Villaverde - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

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Insurance
Insurance - ranked: tier 2

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

A ‘trusted legal advisorCreel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. continues to grow its insurance practice and the late-2016 arrival of counsel Maria José Pinillos, formerly General Counsel at Pan-American México, has given the team additional senior expertise and capacity. Having also hired an additional junior associate, Mallinalli Tecomahua (formerly in house at Prudential Mexico), practice head Leonel Pereznieto’s core team is now five strong, with senior associate Lilian Fernández (particularly for analysis of structures and products) and intermediate Allan Olmedo (compliance in relation to the new norms in the sector), also noted. On the transactional front, the practice can also call on Eduardo González, Carlos Zamarrón and Jorge Correa regarding – respectively – the corporate, finance and tax aspects of transactional mandates. Recent headline work saw the team complete RSA Insurance’s $617m sale of its Mexican operations to Suramericana; act as co-counsel to MBIA Insurance (and its Mexican subsidiary), on the replacement of its financial guaranty insurance policies, including all relevant administrative authorisations from the National Isurance and Bonding Commission (CNSF); and, in ongoing advice, counsel China Oceanwide regarding CNSF authorizations relating to its proposed acquisition of Genworth Financial and its associated home and life insurance subsidiaries. Clients highlight the practice’s ‘expertise’ and ‘extensive technical know-how’ and good response times. Other matters include advising Axa Seguros on regulatory and compliance matters, and El Aguila Compañía de Seguros on its expansion in to P&C and Specialty lines, and associated corporate governance and Solvency II matters. Clients include Allianz, Zurich, Active Capital Reinsurance, Delcredere/Ducroire, Great American Insurance Company, and MBIA Insurance.

Leading lawyers

Leonel Pereznieto - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

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Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 3

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

The ‘outstanding’ team at Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. is praised for its ‘clear advice on risks and scenarios’. The group handles all areas of employment law, and in 2016 also launched a social security practice. It recently advised Grupo IDESA on a restructuring involving the termination of employment, and rehiring, of over 500 employees. Practice head Francisco Peniche stands out for his ‘depth of knowledge’, with Valentina Ahumada also recommended.

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Projects and infrastructure
Projects and infrastructure - ranked: tier 2

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. acts for a mix of sponsors and investors, covering energy and transport infrastructure projects, and is particularly experienced advising investors from the private equity and pension funds sectors. Recent highlights include acting for Howard Midstream Energy Partners on the $353m development and financing of the 200-mile Nueva Era pipeline; and advising the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board on their MX$19bn investment in a 49% stake in the concessionaire of the Arco Norte toll road. Santiago Sepúlveda heads the well-regarded team, which includes Giovanni Ramirez and Pedro Valesco.

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 1

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

The ‘pre-eminent, full spectrumCreel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. is ‘the top law firm in Mexico – its expensive, but very good’ and has ‘a sufficiently big team to handle big deals such as buying or selling large portfolios’. In addition to the ‘vertically integrated departments and deep bench’, clients also appreciate lawyer’s ‘swift responses’ and ‘concrete solutions to the questions raised’; ‘I’ve always obtained a successful outcome when they’ve assisted on an operation of ours’, noted one client. The ‘powerhouse’ team is 20-strong, including four partners and one of counsel, and advises both local and international developers, promoters, tourism and hospitality companies, and investors (including funds) on the full range of real estate matters, from acquisitions, divestitures and leasing to development, permitting, fractional ownership and condominium regimes, and management and operations. Offering ‘great knowledge of the real estate sector in Mexico’, practice co-head Carlos de Icaza is also ‘a top lawyer for environmental issues’ and provides ‘really personalised service’; his recent mandates include acting as counsel to O’Connor Capital Partners on the MXN$133m sale of its equity interest in Centro San Miguel to affiliates of Consorcio ARA; and advising Mexico Retail Properties (MRP) and partners, on the $51m acquisition of 99% of the co-ownership rights of a property known as Parque Hundido for the creation of a condominium regime and a mixed-use development. Based in Monterrey, ‘up-and-coming’ young partner Badir Treviño-Mohamed advised Macquarie Mexican REIT on its $21.7m acquisition of two industrial properties and adjacent land from Inmobiliaria Los Bravos; and acted as deal counsel to Prologis México (and Deutsche Bank, as trustee of Fibra Prologis) on the structuring and sale of two industrial buildings to Fibra Prologis. Treviño teamed up with Carlos del Río to advise new client Artha Controladora IV on its $92m acquisition of 18 real estate properties across Mexico from LaSalle Industrial, involving a master purchase agreement and simultaneous execution (the firm also advised Artha on the financing and antitrust clearance); and del Río led counsel to PGIM Real Estate (formerly PREI) on the MXN$4.2bn sale of six residential towers in Monterrey and Mexico City to CIM Group. In other work, Monterrey-based practice co-head Francisco Montalvo advised CKD II (formed by FINSA and Walton Street Capital) on all aspects of the purchase of nine industrial buildings across northern and north-central Mexico, including a COFECE antitrust filing. Key senior associates include the ‘highly specialised and very capable’ Carlos Yamamoto, and Alfonso Pulido who is highlighted for his ‘commitment and availability at all times’; he’s ‘very proactive and resourceful’. Other clients include Terrafina, GE Capital Real Estate, Black Creek Capital, FINSA, IGS Mexico, NSC Asesores, Starwood Hotels and Resorts and Planigrupo.

Leading lawyers

Carlos de Icaza - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Francisco Montalvo - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Next generation lawyers

Badir Treviño-Mohamed - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

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TMT
TMT - ranked: tier 4

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Corporate powerhouse Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. enters the telecom rankings on the strength of a growing client base (including Warner Brothers Home Entertainment, Ginmbal and Rivada Networks), and a slew of significant transactional activity. Foremost here was acting as local counsel to AT&T on its global $85.4m acquisition of Time Warner. The group also advised Rivada Networks on its ultimately unsuccessful participation in the Red Compartida bidding process, and acted as Mexican counsel to Nokia on its €15.6bn acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent. Other mandates saw key partner Luis Gerardo Garcia, who led on the above transactional matters, counsel AT&T on the analysis and response to a public consultation regarding the effectiveness of the asymmetric regulations imposed upon América Móvil by regulator IFETEL. IP and administrative litigation partner Begoña Cancino brings niche strength in data privacy matters to the team and has led on mandates concerning the regulation of ‘simulcasting’, ‘infotainment’ systems and internet advertising. Key senior associate Jorge Kargl is involved in almost all firm’s activity in this sector and is regarded as ‘a star in the making’. Other clients include Take Two Interactive Software, Audi and Riot Games.

Next generation lawyers

Jorge Kargl - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

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Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 2

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Now with ‘four great partners’ that constitute ‘a great mix of talent’, the ‘aggressiveCreel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. has ‘set the bar really high’ and is ‘gaining important market penetration’, most notably ‘for financial M&A and tax related matters; peers now regard it as ‘very much a relevant team in consultancy matters’. Clients go further, calling it ‘the best option’, adding that ‘value for money is okay’. The 26-strong team is ‘very knowledgeable and responsive’ and ‘communicates clearly’, demonstrates ‘perfect industry knowledge’ and ‘prepares strong legal arguments to defend’ clients’ positions. ‘Simply outstanding’, practice head Alejandro Santoyo (ex-JP Morgan) is an accountant and a lawyer; his recent headline mandates include acting as lead counsel to FIBRA Macquarie on it $685m refinancing (with support from counsel Ericka González); and leading advise to Riverstone Capital on its MXN$12.5bn CKD issuance, involving the development of a complex, one-of-a-kind carried-interest structure. A former assistant deputy commissioner at the SAT and OECD consultant, the ‘very competent’ Jorge Correa has deep public sector knowledge as well as both financial and energy sector expertise. In recent headline work he led the team advising Pinfra on the emblematic $623m Fibra-E issue, a first-of-its-kind transaction with an instrument distinct precisely as a result of the tax transparency of the underlying entities. Correa and Santoyo also teamed up to advise First Reserve and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) on their respective $700m and $1.27bn sale-and-leaseback transactions with Pemex, the tax aspects included structuring the offshore and on-shore investments, reviewing the financial model, negotiating and executing the transaction, and supporting the set-up and continuous operation of the SPV. In both cases the team is also representing the SPV on the VAT refund generated by the purchases. The very good Omar Zuniga is ‘a recognised individual in the world of international tax law’; he and newly appointed counsel Eduardo Michán advised the Vontobel family on the Mexican tax implications of the transfer of its Vonpar shares to Coca Cola FEMSA, along with an additional, associated equity-investment. Zuniga also acted as tax counsel to Bristol Myers Squibb on a $160m pharmaceutical trade mark transfer. In addition to its outstanding transactional tax work, the practice is also very active in day-to-day advisory and preventative work. For example, new partner Luis Vazquez, with assistance from senior associate Diego Garza, advised Mitsui and Samsung joint venture Terminal KMS de GNL on a $45m tax audit liability arising from a SAT challenge to deductible expenses; the matter was resolved successfully at the administrative appeal stage. The two provide ‘very good service’; and the ‘very knowledgeable’ Vazquez, a litigation and tax controversy specialist, is ‘straight forward in his analysis and comments’. In May the firm announced the hire of accountant Laura Frias, as counsel, (along with team of specialised associates) and the launch of its new transfer pricing practice. Frias is a former head of transfer pricing at General Electric and was also manager of tax planning at Televisa. Other moves saw senior associate Nadja D Ruiz return to the SAT before moving to Ernst & Young; while associate Eduardo Brandt arrived from the same consultancy group.

Leading lawyers

Alejandro Santoyo - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Jorge Correa - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Omar Zúñiga - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Next generation lawyers

Eduardo Michán - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Luis Vázquez - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

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Mexico

Offices in Mexico City and Monterrey

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