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Within Banking and finance, Morales & Besa is a first tier firm,
The ‘excellent’ Morales & Besa is well known for its reputation in project finance deals but it also shines in capital markets, structured finance, syndicated loans, corporate finance, derivatives, leveraged buyouts, restructurings and regulatory work. The six-partner team acts for an enviable roster of local and international banks and leading Chilean companies, such as ENAP, and has developed niche strength in the financing of renewable resources projects and the restructuring of major companies. In a highlight example of work in this area, department head Pedro García led a team that assisted 11 creditors in the $426m refinancing of retail giant SMU. Together with Myriam Barahona and Matías Langevin, he also assisted a group of lenders with the amendment of an existing $988m project-finance agreement entered into with AES Gener for its Angamos coal-fired power plant. The team is also regularly involved in the financing of cross-border M&A transactions and assisted BBVA, Banco Santander, Bancolombia and Bank of America in the financing of CFR’s acquisition of South African pharmaceutical company Adcock. Debt capital markets highlights included advising Citicorp and Goldman Sachs on AES Gener’s issuance of $450m subordinated bonds in the international market; and Embotelladora Andina on its issuance of bonds for $520m. Also recommended are project-finance specialist Carlos Silva, capital-markets expert José Miguel Carvajal and senior partner Guillermo Morales.
Within Corporate and M&A, Morales & Besa is a second tier firm,
Morales & Besa has ‘one of the best corporate practices in Chile’ and impresses for its ‘very professional team and excellent service’. In particular, name partner Guillermo Morales is an ‘outstanding lawyer’, while Alejandro Huneeus and Michel Diban (who was recently made up to partner), are both ‘straightforward, agile and very competent’. The firm has a strong showing across the full spread of mergers, acquisitions and capital markets deals and is often involved in the major corporate transactions in Chile. On the M&A side, Morales and Matías Langevin recently advised Felipe Ibáñez and JP Morgan on the sale of $1.4bn worth of shares in Walmart Chile to Wal-Mart Stores. In another highlight, Morales assisted AFP Provida with the acquisition by MetLife of a $2bn controlling stake in the company from BBVA, after the Spanish bank also sold pension assets in Colombia and Mexico. In the oil and gas sector, Langevin and Pedro García advised the state-owned ENAP on the sale of its ownership in Primax to Peru’s Grupo Romero. The firm has an excellent reputation for its capital markets work on the back of its strength in banking and finance matters, and recently advised Goldman Sachs and Citibank as underwriters on AES Gener’s $450m junior subordinated notes issue, the first non-banking subordinated issuance in Chile. Eugenio Besa and Carlos Silva are also recommended.
Within Dispute resolution, tier 5
Morales & Besa is highly rated by clients for its ‘constant availability, quick response times and outstanding capacity to present highly complex matters in a clear and concise manner’. Already a credible player, it was given a further boost in 2013 by the arrival of Jorge Vial, former practice head at Urenda, Rencoret, Orrego y Dörr. Areas of expertise include energy, mining, construction, consumer protection and corporate disputes, and it was recently instructed by The Associated Press in a $4m civil liability and copyright case. The team is also representing Abertis Infraestructuras Chile in a claim filed by Colliers Prosin over damages in relation to an alleged breach of a sale commission. The ‘very intelligent and meticulous’ Gonzalo Cordero heads the team.
Within Projects and infrastructure, Morales & Besa is a first tier firm,
Banking and finance heavyweight Morales & Besa is strong on the transactional side of projects, but it also has expertise in advising leading infrastructure developers and investors on regulatory matters, including due diligence and public bidding processes. Finance partner Pedro García is a key contact and is particularly active in structuring and financing high-end projects on behalf of creditors; he recently assisted a syndicate of banks led by JBIC with the $1.5bn financing of AES Gener’s Cochrane coal-based power plant. Carlos Silva is particularly recommended for infrastructure PPP projects in the healthcare and transportation sectors; he assisted the consortium Ferrovial-Meridiam with the public bidding process for the $296m Hospital Salvador Concession project, and Cintra Infraestructuras with the public bidding process for the $1bn Vespucio Oriente Toll Road Concession project. Together with Myriam Barahona, he also advised Banco Security on a project finance and refinancing transaction in relation to Empresa Eléctrica Licán’s hydro generation project.
Within Real estate, Morales & Besa is a third tier firm,
Morales & Besa is praised for its expertise in large real estate projects and acts for its corporate clients on related acquisitions, joint venture formations and financing transactions. Recent work included advising Administradora de Fondos de Inversión BCI on the formation of a joint venture with Alterra for a real estate development in Iquique, and Inmobiliaria Ingevec on a joint venture for a real estate development in Antofagasta. The firm is also able to leverage off its strong finance practice to provide particular expertise advising real estate investment managers, pension funds and banks in real estate deals; the team recently advised Inmobiliaria Colina and Banco Security on the restructuring of a real estate project finance transaction, which involved the formation of private equity funds and the issuance of privately trade bonds and a leasing agreement. Eugenio Besa, Carlos Silva and Michel Diban are all recommended.
Chile : Energy and natural resources
Within Electricity/oil and gas, Morales & Besa is a second tier firm,
Morales & Besa has a strong reputation for project finance work and it wins a healthy stream of power-project-related instructions from financial institutions and sponsors alike, with a marked slant towards hydroelectric plants. Highlights included advising a syndicate of banks led by JBIC on the $1bn project finance of AES Gener’s Cochrane coal-fired power plant; and BBVA New York (Corporate & Investment Banking), on a $170m syndicated project finance transaction with a subsidiary of ELECNOR for the development of a trunk transmission line; Pedro García led on both mandates. In the M&A space, the team assisted Chile’s state-owned oil company ENAP with the $312m sale of its interest in Primax Perú and Primax Ecuador to Grupo Romero.
Within Mining, Morales & Besa is a third tier firm,
Morales & Besa’s expertise lies in corporate and project finance, where the firm garners a healthy stream of instructions from mining clients as well as national and international banks on matters arising from mining transactions. Eugenio Besa assisted Antofagasta Gold on the due diligence and option agreement relating to a joint venture with Soquimich for the development of a copper project. Also active on the contentious side, the team is advising Companía Minera Doña Inés de Collahuasi before the Supreme Court in a dispute over mining easements against the Chilean government. Other clients include Yamana Gold, Marubeni Corporation and Bellzone Mining.
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