Banking and finance in Chile
Barros & Errázuriz's 'lawyers provide a service that is personal, diligent and includes a full understanding of clients' legal needs'. The firm's large, specialised team fields three partners who focus primarily on advising lenders and borrowers in financing transactions, as well as 13 lawyers with banking, finance and capital markets experience. The practice stands out for energy and infrastructure project-finance transactions and benefits from the firm's robust real estate, energy, environmental and regulatory groups. Other typical work includes secured, corporate and syndicated loans, cross-border deals, guarantee agreements, bond placements, leasing, and structured, project and acquisition finance. Clients include Banco Security, JP Morgan, Banco BICE, Banco Itaú Chile, Apollo Global Management, Mitsui and BTG Pactual Chile. Highlight matters saw the practice advise several lenders on the financing of a project managed by EIG Global Energy Partners (and its Chilean subsidiaries), involving the development and construction of a solar thermal power plant and associated interconnection facilities. The team also acted for Apollo Global Management on a mezzanine financing granted to Enfragen Capital and Enfragen Finance Company to fund both a stake in an equity contribution (under a senior finance credit agreement) and part of the acquisition of hydroelectric plants in Panama and Chile. The lender-counsel team is led by Francisco De la Barra, who 'brings trust and confidence to deals', while the debtor-counsel group is headed up by Nicolás Balmaceda; Bernardo Simian advises on both lender and debtor-side matters. Other key team members include recently appointed managing partner Cristián Barros, Pablo Guerrero, Luis Alberto Letelier, Víctor Barros and Javier Díaz. Senior associates María Olga Rivera and Enrique Barros are both noteworthy; former department co-head and managing partner Gonzalo Molina left the firm in mid-2018.
Carey's 'service is excellent, mixing a strong legal background with practical knowledge of the market; the timeliness of responses is also amazing'. The practice has extensive experience advising creditors, investors and borrowers on a wide range of banking and finance deals. Representative work includes advising domestic and foreign clients on bilateral or syndicated loans, liability management, public and private offers and placements of capital and debt, securitisation, project financing, and structured products. Active, key clients include Export Development Canada (EDC), Banco Security, Wells Fargo, Macquarie Bank, Itaú Corpbanca, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and The Bank of Nova Scotia. Recent work includes advising Tianqi Lithium Corporation on a $2.5bn senior credit facility agreement to purchase 24 per cent of Chilean chemical company SQM's series A shares; acting for EDC on a $100m loan agreement granted to publicly-traded multinational retail company, Cencosud; and assisting a number of senior lenders on the second financial restructuring of the Alto Maipo hydroelectric project. On the borrower side, the team advised Acciona Energía Chile on a credit line to finance the VAT for its San Gabriel wind project; and assisted Transelec - through affiliate Transelec Concesiones - with its first project finance transaction, consisting of an up-to $375m financing for the construction, operation and maintenance of four transmission lines and related facilities. Department heads Francisco Ugarte (who is 'always available to provide advice'), Diego Peralta and Felipe Moro are all well known figures in the market; their practices are oriented towards project finance,banking and bank regulatory, and corporate finance and private equity, resectively. Alejandra Daroch, Fernando Noriega and Luciano Aguilera are all associates to note.
Claro & Cia.'s group is highly rated for multi-lateral and cross-border financing, including high-value loans and project financing for hydro projects, renewables, thermo-electric and combined-cycle power plants, transmission lines, and oil and gas pipelines; it also assists with insurance and reinsurance matters, including financial guarantees, and regularly works alongside the firm's M&A, private equity, corporate restructuring, corporate finance and structured finance practices. The client list includes AES Gener, The Bank of Tokio - Mitsubishi UFJ, Itaú-Corpbanca, Citigroup Global Markets, Deutsche Bank Securities and Compañía Sud Americana de Vapores. Highlight mandates saw the team advise electricity producer and distributor AES Gener, as sponsor, on the restructuring of the $3bn financing of hydroelectric project Alto Maipo; assist the New York-based Glenfarne Group with a $300m mezzanine financing of equity obligations to fund new investments in the Americas; and act for Natixis (New York Branch) as lender, mandated lead arranger and administrative agent, in the amendment and extension of a $50m bridge loan granted to Cerro Dominado. Practice heads Rodrigo Ochagavía and José María Eyzaguirre B. direct a group with a number of other highly-regarded advisers, notably: Jorge Martín, Felipe Larraín and Luisa Núñez, along with José Luis Ambrosy, Juan León and Ariel Mihovilovic.
Morales & Besa's 'truly professional and hardworking team has deep knowledge of Chilean legal issues'. It fields experts in restructuring, syndicated loans, structured finance, derivatives, regulatory matters and distressed debt, and it is experienced in industries such as retail, real estate, mining, energy, utilities and infrastructure. In project finance, the group acts for developers, sponsors, lenders, multilateral institutions, guarantors and EPC contractors on project structuring, financing, and construction and contractual issues. On the non-transactional side, the group regularly assists companies with licensing, regulatory and compliance matters. Notable clients include Enjoy, Los Guindos Generación, Banco BICE and Japan's SMBC. Myriam Barahona and José Miguel Carvajal are the department heads; recent mandates saw Barahona lead advice to BCI Asesoría Financiera concerning syndicated loans granted to two companies of the Vías Chile Group; and Carvajal assist Banco de Crédito e Inversiones with the amendment of the outstanding debt of CorpGroup holding group members. Other matters saw name-partner Guillermo Morales, who is 'one of the first lawyers clients in Chile should call with difficult questions', act for retail conglomerate Cencosud, as borrower, on a loan facility granted by EDC to refinance existing indebtedness. Co-founding partner Eugenio Besa , Carlos Silva and Matías Langevin (who is 'very focused on the key details that can often make or break capital markets deals') are also all highly-regarded practitioners. At senior associate level, Ignacio Menchaca and Javier Balbontin are the key names; former senior associate Ignacio Delpino moved in-house to Banco Security.
Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría's core areas include project finance involving the energy, mining and infrastructure sectors, and syndicated financing where the group acts for both local and foreign banks ona full range of corporate-finance transactions. Other areas of particular strength are offshore bonds, shares issuance and aircraft finance. High-profile clients include MUFG Bank, EDF Energies Nouvelles, HSBC, LATAM Airlines Group, Mizuho Bank, Scotiabank Chile and Santander Chile. In recent work, the practice acted as local counsel to The Bank of Nova Scotia and Scotiabank Chile (among other lenders on two syndicated loan agreements extended to VTR.Com and VTR Comunicaciones; assisted Banco de Crédito e Inversiones with a credit agreement entered into with Viña Valdivieso; and advised Gramercy Funds Management on the execution of a new credit agreement granted to Pacífico Cable. In capital markets, the team advised HSBC Securities (USA), Itau BBA USA Securities and Scotia Capital (USA), as initial purchasers, on a pair of soveriegn bond issuances (with an aggregate value of CLP103,950m) by the Republic of Chile. The team is led by office managing partner Marcelo Armas, in conjunction with Andrés Sanfuentes and Marcela Silva, who was appointed partner in early 2019. Principal associate of the finance practice group, Daniel Barros is also noted.
Handling the full range of finance matters, the team at Baker McKenzie Chile is experienced in acquisition and project finance, securitisation, corporate loans and refinancing, as well as the offering and structuring of sophisticated financial instruments. The practice group also provides specialised regulatory advice on e-money and financial products, negotiates master derivative agreements and regularly delivers legal opinions on financial custody matters to over 20 global custodian banks. It's client list includes Grupo Security, Barclays Bank, Mantos Copper, Mizuho Bank, Emeco Holdings and Cencosud. Recent headline work included advising Inversiones Quinchamalí (the investment company of the Paulmann family, which controls Chile's largest retail company, Cencosud) on the refinancing of $100m of existing loans granted by Itau Corpbanca; and in a cross-border deal involving Chile and the US, acting for Chile-based Banco Security, as borrower, on a corporate loan granted by Wells Fargo. Leading a nine-strong team, co-department heads Sebastian Vivanco, León Larrain and Jaime Munro are all highly regarded. Primarily M&A focused, Fernando Castro also undertakes banking and capital markets work. Jose Ignacio Berner is the associate to note.
Fielding an impressive 24-strong team, Bofill, Mir & Álvarez Jana is particularly noted for its advice to institutional investors -including insurance companies and public and private investment funds- on structured and syndicated financing arrangements; the practice is also experienced in structuring corporate and securitised bonds. Significant clients include Inversiones e Inmobiliaria Almonacid (IIA), EuroAmerica, Sandvik Credit and Energía Latina. Recnet matters saw the team act for Canada's Coro Mining on the structuring and execution of a $58m financing plan, including both a private placement and a rights offering; and advise IIA, as debtor, on the granting of a syndicated loan facility with a lender group of several Chilean Banks and life insurance companies. Ana María Yuri and name-partner Octavio Bofill co-lead the departmetn; Rodrigo Saffirio and José Antonio Velasco are also highly regarded. Former senior associate Daniela Buscaglia moved in-house at WeWork in February 2019.
Cariola Díez Pérez-Cotapos' 'lawyers are effective and responsive, and give sound advice; they are also commercially minded and work well with counterparties to close deals'. The 12-strong practice group is highly rated for its structuring of financial transactions, particularly cross-border loans. Other key areas include project finance in relation to the mining, energy and infrastructure sectors, acquisition and corporate finance, complex restructurings, secured financing for agriculture producers, derivatives, and trade finance; the practice also has a robust finance-regulatory capability. An impressive lender-side client list includes Rabobank, Banco Santander, Banco BICE, BBVA Spain; Bank of New York, BNP and Itaú Corpbanca, as well as corporate heavywights such as Southern Cross Group and state rail entity Empresa de Ferrocarriles del Estado (EFE). Among recent matters, the team acted as special Chilean counsel to Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (as administrative agent), BNP Paribas (as documentation agent) and other lenders in a $500m senior unsecured revolving credit facility to Enel Américas. On the borrower's side, it also advised Fray Leon International (a Panamanian subsidiary of Chile's Von Appen Burose group), on a $20m term loan agreement granted by Banco de Crédito Inversiones (Miami branch) to finance the acquisition of both a maritime vessel and real estate. Rodrigo Sepúlveda, Francisco Illanes and the 'highly talented' Juan Antonio Parodi are the names to note.
Guerrero Olivos' sizeable, 21-strong practice 'provides an attentive service'. The group demonstrates considerable specialisation in matters ranging from the structuring of corporate loans, acquisition finance and restructuring / refinancing, to project finance, and regulatory advice. Lender-side clients include Wells Fargo, China Development Bank, Deutsche Bank, Banco ConsorcioBanco Estado, Banco Security, Rabobank Chile and local financial powerhouse Larraín Vial. Recent work in the acquisition finance segment saw the team advise lender CITIC Bank International regarding a syndicated facility agreement for the purchase of a stake in chemicals conglomerate SQM; refinancing matters included assisting Graneles de Chile with its $300m corporate and financial restructuring process; while in the project finance front, the team advised Cap Verte Energie with a $20m project refinancing for the construction and operation of three NCRE projects in Chile. The department is led by Jorge Delpiano, managing partner Roberto Guerrero V, project finance expert Sebastián Yunge and senior counsel Miguel Coddou, who is 'extremely solid in finance and banking issues'. Also key to the team are: recently promoted partner Macarena Ravinet, TMT-focused Juan Enrique Allard and private equity / venture capital specialised Pedro Lyon. Since publication, Coddou has been raised to the partnership (as of January 2020).
Fully integrated into the firm's global practice, the six-strong team at CMS Carey & Allende is praised for its 'technical skills , industry knowledge and commercial and regulatory insights'. The group handles the full range of finance matters including receivables-based credit agreements, syndicated loans, debt restructuring, project finance and capital market transactions. Sun Dreams, Benchmark Genetics Chile, Solarpack, Inversiones FK, Inversiones del Pacífico, and Sonda are all active clients. Recent matters include advising local Sun International subsidiary, Sun International Chile (as borrower), on a high-value syndicated loan granted by Banco BCI and Itaú Corpbanca; the team also assisted Aquachile with the negotiation and subscription of a bridge loan agreement with a group of foreign and national banks. Fernando De Cárcer leads the banking and finance practice; Jorge Allende D, Ramón Valdivieso and Diego Rodríguez are also experienced practitioners, while Ignacio Errazquin is the senior associate to note.
Garrigues Chile is 'practical and efficient, and because it is involved in so many deals it has a good feel for the market'. The office has a broad finance practice, primarily handling acquisition and project finance, restructuring and corporate lending. The team has a strong lender-side client roster and acts for a number of leading banks, including National Australia Bank, Banco Santander (Chile), Scotiabank Chile, Banco del Estado de Chile, Citibank, and Banco de Chile. Indeed, in the project finance segment the team advised a syndicate of 11 banks on a $540m syndicated loan (as part of a wider $650m project financing) granted to BHP Billiton for a water desalination project and pipeline to supply Minera Spence, as well as Banco Santander et al on the $320m financing of Intervial's Rutas del Loa toll road; in the restructuring area it advised a nine-bank syndicate on Graneles del Chile's $295m corporate and financial restructuring. On the borrower side, acquisition finance mandates included advice to Jenner Renewables on the $130m financing for the acquisition of 12 solar power plants. Active across the finance sector and a 'go-to lawyer for capital markets deals in Chile', Pedro García heads the now eight-strong group which was considerably strengthened with the incorporation of Jaime de Larraechea from Cruzat, Vicuña, de Larraechea Abogados ; finance specialised, he is particularly active in cross-border transactions. Senior associate Antonio Morales and associate Francisca Ferrer are also key team members.
Honorato Delaveau advises on bilateral and syndicated loans, debt restructuring, equity and debt offerings and placements, securitisation, acquisition and project finance, and structured products. Clients include Vantrust, Banco de la Nación Argentina, Banco de Crédito e Inversiones and Credit Suisse. Recent work includes assisting BTG Pactual Asset Management and Ameris with the restructuring of private debt facilities, advising Banco Santander Chile on the structuring and implementation of a new guarantee system, and acting for Energía Llaima regarding a $130m, 15-year credit line from Itaú Corpbanca. The team has also been active assisting a number of clients with the structuring of multiple finance facilities to develop real estate projects. The key individuals are: name-partners Jose Luis Honorato and Gonzalo Delaveau (who both have strong-backgrounds in the sector); structured and asset-backed financing specialist Sebastián Delpiano; and senior associate Roberto Olivos, a former senior legal counsel at Banco Santander Chile who joined the firm in September 2018.
In addition to a superb reputation for project-finance matters, Larrain y Asociados Abogados has longstanding experience advising banks, brokers and financial institutions and companies on syndicated loans, acquisition and structured finance and the issuance of secured and insured bonds. It is also active in aircraft finance. The practice goup has a strong lender side client-list including Banco del Estado de Chile, Itaú Corpbanca, Banco Security, Scotiabank, Banco Santander Chile, Banco de Chile, Banco Internacional, Privada Fondo de Inversión, Zoma Capital and Banco Consorcio. Recent mandates saw it advise BHP Billiton with the $540m project financing of a desalination plant for the Spence Copper Mine; counsel a five institution syndicate led by Banco BTG Pactual regarding a $46m financing to Inversiones e Inmobiliaria Almonacid; and on the capital markets, assist Nordex Chile (as guarantor) with the local aspects of a $342m, 144A /Reg S bond issue by its parent company Nordex SE. The nine-strong team is led by 'well-known figures' Patricio Montes and Jorge Granic; Diego Garay P is an experienced senior associate.
Prieto Abogados' 12-strong team has been active, recently, advising on domestic and international syndicated loan agreements (predominantly on the debtor-side), and complex restructurings and corporate reorganisations. Other areas of strength include project finance and debt recovery, and the team has a notably high-profile role in debt placement work. Clients include Transmisora Eléctrica del Norte, CaixaBank, Engie Energía Chile and GM Financial and recent mandates saw the practice assist Eléctrica Nueva Energía with the amendment of series of loan agreements with Banco Santander-Chile; and Caixa Bank with the negotiation, execution and collateral agreements of a loan to Inversiones la Construction. Gerardo Cruzat heads up the banking and finance practice, while senior market figure Patricio Prieto L leads the capital markets team; practice director Isabel Margarita Wolleter is an experienced capital markets counsel.
Fielding an eight-strong team, Urenda, Rencoret, Orrego y Dörr regularly assists with debt and equity transactions and offerings, securities, derivatives and structured finance, and securitization and regulatory matters; the practice is also particularly active in mining and energy project-finance. A broad client base includes BHP, Yamana Gold, Murugappa Group, Viña Veramonte and real estate developers Punta Piqueros and Mall Viña del Mar; as well as lenders International Finance Corporation (IFC), Bancolombia, The Bank of New York Mellon, Banco BICE and GE Capital Industrial Finance. Recent highlights saw practice head Nicholas Mocarquer lead advice to BHP and Minera Escondida on facility agreements (aggregate value $517m) with Banco Estado, BBVA and Banco Santander. Fellow practice head Rodrigo de Alencar , advised state-owned Chilean aeronautical company ENAER and Banco Bice regarding a $40m bond issuance. Sergio Orrego and Felipe Rencoret are also key partners in the practice, while experienced senior associate Raúl Gómez is also highly regarded.
Albagli Zaliasnik's five-strong practice group handles syndicated finance, project financing, debt restructuring, debt capital placements, securitisations, derivatives and corporate finance; Banco do Brasil, Grupo Secuoya Comunicaciones and Nexus are regular clients. Recent work includes advising Comercial e Industrial Libesa, a Chilean manufacturer, importer, and distributor of office and school equipment, on its credit refinancing with Banco Itaú; and acting for Nexus on a $30m syndicated loan. Practice director Cristián Riquelme is the key contact.
Alessandri & Compañía Abogados
Fernando Jamarne heads the four-strong banking and financial services group at Alessandri & Compañía Abogados, which advises on the negotiation, drafting and execution of loan documents and guarantees and also has extensive experience in cross-border transactions and bond issues. Recent matters saw the team act as local counsel to the underwriters on Enel Chile's $1bn bridge loan and advise Metro International with the structuring and implementation of a corporate credit line. Capital market and regulations practice director, senior associate Nicole Cartier, is also noted; she previously spent nine year at the Superintendency of Seucrities and Insurance (SVS). Former senior associate Guillermo Correa has left the firm.
Aninat Schwencke & Cia's five-strong practice covers acquisition and project finance, general bank lending and refinancings; it is also experienced in domestic and international capital markets offerings. Clients include Esval, Empresa Nacional del Petróleo and Chilean holding company CAP. Recent matters include acting as local advisers to Citigroup Global Markets and JP Morgan Securities on ENAP's $600m notes issue; and advising Verfrut's Peruvian subsidiary on a $20m loan from Rabobank. Founding partner Juan Pablo Schwencke and Pablo Undurraga -whose finance practice takes in PE/VC, investment funds and capital markets matters- are both experienced advisers. Capital markets practice director Francisco Prado is also noted.
The finance practice at Baraona Fischer & Cía has a particular focus on the financing aspects of public infrastructure and energy projects as well as M&A transactions. It has developed particular niche expertise in health-sector concession projects and recently acted for Itaú Corpbanca (as lead arranger) and a syndicate of seven financial institutions, on the $375m financing granted to Consorcio de Salud Santiago Oriente for the construction of the Hospital del Salvador and Instituto Nacional de Geriatría. Raúl Marshall heads the financing, capital markets and venture capital team. Key support comes from Juan Pablo Baraona , whose finance practices reaches into capital markets, derivatives and risk capital work. Former name partner Max Spiess left the firm to join Elton & Cía in March 2019.
In 2018, BAZ|DLA Piper and NLD (Noguera Larraín & Dulanto) merged under the name DLA Piper BAZ|NLD; the firm has since changed its name to DLA Piper (Chile). In addition to traditional banking and finance matters, the nine-strong practice group stands out for its experience in advising funds and angel investors on venture capital in Chile; it also regularly deals with national business promotion agency CORFO (particularly in regard to funding applications and credit lines), and has a robust banking regulatory practice. Recent mandates include advising Komax (as borrower) on a $49.5m syndicated loan from Banco Santander, Banco Consorcio and Banco BTG for the financing of outstanding debt and a company acquisition; and Devlabs in day-to-day matters related to the operation of its CORFO-backed fund, Fondo de Inversión Privado Outlier Seed Fund I (and associated capital calls). The group has also been active acting on behalf of banks, assiting Banco San Juan International, for example, with its registration as a foreign financial institution. Experienced practice co-heads Matías Zegers and Paulo Larrain are the key contacts; they're best known for banking, finance and venture capital, and acquisition and project financing and capital markets, respectively. With a finance and capital markets practice tempered by his former experience in-house, Mauricio Halpern is also noted; he was elected partner in January 2020 after three years as counsel.
Fontaine & Cía
Fontaine & Cía's Juan Eduardo Troncoso heads the finance and capital markets practice, which advises on project financing, syndicated loans, restructuring and capital raising. MetLife Chile Seguros de Vida and Banco Security are clients; the team also advised Principal Compañía de Seguros on a syndicated financing to Costaverde Aeronáutica to refinance existing loans and for corporate purposes.
Grasty Quintana Majlis & Cia. regularly advises on debt and capital issuances, syndicated and bilateral credit, and project financing; the team is also increasingly assisting start-up companies and venture capital firms with investment structuring and financing. Active clients include Valley Rubber (Chile), an affiliate of an Alabama-based rubber solutions company, and Chilean mining company SCM Tres Valles (SCM). The team recently acted for the latter on its $15m refinancing of both existing, uncommitted stock and a working capital financing facility. Office manageing partner Juan Turner and Franco Acchiardo are the principal contacts.
Jara Del Favero & Ried Fabres demonstrates expertise across the full range of banking and finance matters, derivative trading and complex financing structures, as well as in regulatory issues. An impressive client roster includes lenders such as Deutsche Bank, Banco Santander, BCI Group, BTG Pactual, Larrain Vial and Itaú Corpbanca; as well as borrowers such as Antofagasta, Lumina Copper and Pfizer. Recent mandates include assisting Banco Internacional with a $40m local bond issuance; BBVA-affiliate Forum Servicios Finacieros with the termination of two lines of commercial paper and the registration of a new line for approx. $180m; and Deutsche Bank regarding the winding up of all its activities in Chile. The team has also been advising Banco Santander, Banco BCI and Consorcio Group, among others, with the renegotiation of their ISDA agreements with the corresponding international financial institutions. The sizeable, 16-strong team is co-led by acquisition and project finance-focused Felipe Ovalle, Cristián Fabres (who also leads the firm's investment and mutual funds practice), and José Miguel Ried (formerly in house counsel at the Santiago Stock Exchange, he heads up the derivatives practice). Further depth comes from investment funds-focused Alvaro Caviedes and Gabriel Del Favero, whose practice bridges the energy, natural resources and finance /banking sectors. Senior associates Christian Schiessler (capital markets, funds, wealth management) and Ricardo Abogabir (bond offerings, regulatory matters, derivatives) provide a strong second line.