Next Generation Partners

Firms To Watch: Corporate and M&A

A new regional outfit formed in May 2021 by the merger of four firms in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica, Alta Valdés, Suárez & Velasco is experienced in M&A, corporate and antitrust law; Julio Valdés is a key contact.
With particular expertise in the fintech sector, the corporate team at Torres Legal advises foreign investment companies and financial conglomerates on establishment, M&A and corporate operations. Founding partner Héctor Torres, Luis Domínguez and Raquel Santos lead the practice.

Corporate and M&A in El Salvador

Arias

With ‘excellent experience‘, the team at Arias continues to be a leader in the corporate and M&A practice area, advising clients involved in high-value, multi-jurisdictional M&A transactions. It also offers support with such issues as franchise matters, corporate governance, tax planning, management agreements, shareholders’ agreements and creditors’ rights issues. The group is jointly led by M&A practice head Roberta Gallardo, negotiation expert Ana Mercedes López, corporate planning and project development specialist Luisa Rivas, investment adviser Carolina Lazo, and corporate practice head and office co-managing partner Lilian Arias. They are backed by regional managing partner Armando Arias, Eduardo Ángel, who handles related litigation, Mario Lozano, who provides complementary expertise in banking and finance matters, and senior associate Adán Araujo. The team represents a portfolio of international clients that includes Telefonica, the Bank of Nova Scotia and Unilever, across sectors ranging from telecoms, food, banking and energy, to construction, infrastructure and consumer goods.

Practice head(s):

Roberta Gallardo; Luisa Rivas; Carolina Lazo; Lilian Arias; Ana Mercedes López

Testimonials

‘Lilian Arias and Ana Mercedes López are lawyers who always understand the needs of their clients and provide added value, efficiency and practicality to all that is assigned to them.’

‘The team is very well qualified, with a lot of knowledge in legal matters and excellent experience.’

‘The firm has been very conscientious in collecting fees during the pandemic. But the biggest novelty is that they are always up to date and aware of the new laws, ready to give an opinion on new issues and also able to give clients practical and realistic advice.’

Key clients

Telefonica Centroamerica Inversiones, Telefónica and TLK Investments

PRB

Grupo Econ

Suez International

Sonsonate Solar

Unilever

Work highlights

  • Advising Suez International, including on tax, corporate and administrative matters.
  • Advised Unilever on the antitrust filing related to the divestment of its laundry business to Guatemalan company La Popular.
  • Advised the Bank of Nova Scotia on the sale of its entire participation in Inversiones Financieras Scotiabank El Salvador, Scotiabank El Salvador and its subsidiaries, and Scotia Seguros.

Consortium Legal

The powerhouse corporate and M&A practice at Consortium Legal continues to advise national and multinational clients involved on high-value cross-border transactions. The team handles a diverse spectrum of matters, including incorporations, mergers, divisions, due diligence processes, the structuring of corporate agreements and the drafting of contracts. The group is headed by M&A expert Óscar SamourDiego Martín, who is an authority in corporate tax matters, and foreign investment specialist Maria Alejandra Tulipano, and backed by associates Felipe Aragón, who has expertise in M&A, and Gustavo Vega, who is experienced in investments. Senior Carlos Rodríguez provides complementary expertise in labour matters. The team’s client roster contains such household names as Credit Suisse, Walmart and Uber, and spans the telecoms, banking, energy, insurance, e-commerce, retail, aviation and tech sectors.

Practice head(s):

Óscar Samour; Diego Martin; María Alejandra Tulipano

Key clients

Credit Suisse AG, Cayman Islands Branch

Walmart

Volaris

Banco Agromercantil (Bancolombia)

AB InBev International (La Constancia)

Grupo Terra (Imperia Intercontinental)

Grupo CMI (Pollo Campero, Avícola)

Grupo Barceló

Amcor Rigid Plastics

Uber

Work highlights

  • Advised Imperia Intercontinental on the negotiation of the purchase agreement for the acquisition of the shares of Inversiones Financieras Scotiabank El Salvador, Scotiabank El Salvador, and Scotia Seguros and its subsidiaries.
  • Advised Grupo PDC on the acquisition of all inventories, assets and intellectual property of Dizac.
  • Advised on the merger of Inversiones Financieras Grupo Imperia Cuscatlán and Banco Cuscatlán.

García & Bodán

The group at García & Bodán advises on cross-border high-value transactions and provides support for the day-to-day corporate needs of its local and international clients. The team assists with a wide range of matters, including due diligence, M&A, antitrust and consumer rights issues, tax planning and company incorporation. Headed by multinational transaction expert Oscar Torres, and backed by senior associates Mauricio Orellana, who provides expertise in related tax issues, and the ‘outstanding‘ David Claros Flores, the group acts for regional and international clients across such sectors as aviation, education, telecoms, food, retail and insurance. Since publication, Torres has been named regional head of the firm's labour practice - effective as of April 2022.

Practice head(s):

Oscar Torres

Testimonials

‘In the El Salvador office, the team stands out for its attention to detail and response times. David Claros is outstanding.’

‘Garcia & Bodan’s team is highly focused on the client’s needs and is able to address them in an effective and timely manner.’

Key clients

Aeroméxico

Logística Comercial El Salvado (Herbalife Distributor)

First Cash Financial Services

Grupo Lala

Industrias La Constancia

Stanley, Black and Decker

Grupo Almo

Work highlights

  • Providing ongoing comprehensive legal advice and assistance to Mexican airline Aeroméxico.
  • Providing ongoing comprehensive legal advice and assistance to Creative Associates International.
  • Advising Telemovil El Salvador (Tigo El Salvador),a  subsidiary of Millicom International Cellular, on the purchase and sales of telecoms towers.

MCM Legal

Praised for its 'impressive client service', the corporate and M&A team at MCM Legal advises companies at the local and international levels on matters including joint venture formation, restructuring, contracts, consumer protection compliance, corporate governance and due diligence. The team is led by international business authority Daniel Martinez, and supported by company formation and restructuring expert Ricardo Milla and associate David Aguilar, who is compliance specialist. Its client portfolio features international companies such as United Airlines, Huawei Telecommunications and Telefonica, spanning the tech, security services, aviation, telecoms and pharmaceuticals sectors.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Martinez

Testimonials

‘MCM Legal is a very diligent firm and is characterised by having very good response times, providing solutions to our problems with great clarity and practical application. The firm’s team of lawyers is interested in getting to know our business and that makes their quality of client service very successful and very satisfactory for us.’

‘MCM are excellent. They have impressive client service, they are agile in seeking solutions, very meticulous and focused on details, and they have a team that coordinates very well. They resolve issues and always add value to their work.’

‘The team is very professional, prepares the work in the best possible way and is always available at any time.’

Key clients

United Airlines

Huawei Telecommunications

Volante Technologies

AGS Protect

Equifax

Preferred Hotel Group

Cummins

Nature’s Sunshine Products

Hamburg Süd

Telefonica

Unlimited Health

Nikken

Fiat Chrysler (Latam)

CV Credit

Icards Solutions

Grupo Silkcroft

Alfa Security

Medtrition

Pryma

Serdi

Smart Strategic Marketing

Diper Exhibitions

Sysde

Musicar

Inversiones Birm

Assemblies of God

Sistemas de Gestion

Work highlights

  • Advised United Airlines on obtaining approval for two new routes from Los Angeles and Washington DC to double its capacity for flights to El Salvador.
  • Assisted Volante Technologies with the negotiation, review and execution of a master SaaS agreement with a major bank in the Central American region.
  • Advised Huawei Telecommunications on the compliance of permits and regulations relating to the construction of a modular shipping container building and installation of a tier III data centre.

Aguilar Castillo Love

The experienced corporate team at Aguilar Castillo Love assists national and multinational clients involved in local deals and cross-border transactions. The group’s full service covers a diverse spectrum of issues, ranging from joint ventures, restructuring, M&A and corporate governance matters, to start-ups and splits. Headed by Carlos Alfaro, who also has expertise in tax law, and supported by foreign investment specialist Flor de María Cortez, who joined the firm from Arias in January 2021, the team’s client roster includes household names such as the Coca-Cola Company and the Whirlpool Corporation, across sectors including retail, health, logistics, energy, security, electronics, banking and aviation.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Alfaro

Testimonials

‘It is a very professional firm that generates trust in its clients.’

‘The team’s dedication, professionalism, knowledge and responsibility are the characteristics that make it stand out.’

Key clients

Diebold Nixdorf

Siemens Healthcare

ICTSI Americas – FBM

Hogan Lovells

Banco Ficohsa

Carestream

ADT Security Services (Tyco)

Whirlpool Corporation

Facebook (via Latham & Watkins)

The Coca-Cola Company

Work highlights

  • Advising Diebold Nixdorf, the American multinational financial and retail technology company, on all corporate matters related to its operations in El Salvador.
  • Advised ICTSI Americas – FBM on a project proposed to the government of the Republic of El Salvador for the modernisation, development and operation of the Port of Acajutla.
  • Advised Carestream in relation to the termination of distribution contracts in El Salvador, among other Central American jurisdictions.

Benjamín Valdez & Asociados Abogados/Notarios

The corporate and M&A team at boutique firm Benjamín Valdez & Asociados Abogados/Notarios provides 'an exceptional service' to its national and multinational clients. It advises on a broad span of matters, including due diligence, M&A, regulatory compliance, corporate expansion, tax issues and the mitigation of legal risks. The group is led by acquisitions expert Benjamín Valdez Tamayo, founding partner Benjamín Valdez Iraheta and Mario Martinez, who also heads the real estate practice. The team’s client roster covers the food and beverages, energy, education and hospitality sectors.

Practice head(s):

Benjamin Valdez Tamayo; Benjamin Valdez Iraheta; Mario Martinez Sandoval

Testimonials

‘They are advisers rather than just lawyers. We are highly satisfied with their work – the support we receive in all areas makes BVA our first choice for everything, as well as M&A when necessary.’

‘I find that they provide an exceptional service. They are experts in the field and excellent with clients.’

‘We have experienced a lot of empathy and a desire to help from the attorneys at the firm.’

Key clients

Puma/Rasa

Colegio Internacional de El Salvador

Trust for Water Security (Fideagua)

CBC

Livsmart

Marriot

Banco Azteca Mexico

El Encanto Country Club

America Movil

Grupo Aristos – American Park

BLP

The experienced business law team at BLP utilises advanced AI tools for due diligence and contract automation to assist local and international companies involved in complex multi-jurisdictional matters. The group provides a full service, advising on such matters as M&A, due diligence, restructuring, regulatory compliance, corporate governance, and the drafting and negotiation of contracts. Led by ‘highly qualified and knowledgeable‘ business law authority Zygmunt Brett, and backed by corporate law expert Mariana Nochez, the team’s client roster contains household names such as Bank of America, PayPal and PepsiCo. Former special counsel Ricardo Cevallos left the firm in February 2021, moving to Texas and establishing his own estate-planning practice.

Practice head(s):

Zygmunt Brett

Testimonials

‘They have a genuine interest in helping their clients, which means they look for alternatives and have an in-depth understanding of the big picture.’

‘They make complex things simple.’

‘They have a personal touch in their dealings with clients and provide rapid responses.’

‘Zygmunt Brett and Mariana Nochez are highly qualified and knowledgeable about critical issues for the client. They provide a speedy personalised service.’

Key clients

Bank of America

Lululemon

Aliaxis

PayPal

Blackrock

Hencorp

Morgan Stanley

IDB Invest

PepsiCo

Bayer

CENTRAL LAW El Salvador

Showing 'creativity and total availability', the corporate group at Central Law El Salvador advises national and multinational clients on high-value cross-border transactions. Its multi-disciplinary team assists businesses on a wide range of issues, including M&A, corporate governance, sales and distribution contracts, joint ventures, shareholder disputes, antitrust matters and due diligence processes. The practice is spearheaded by office founding partner Piero Rusconi GutiérrezPiero Rusconi Bolaños, who is also co-director of the energy and infrastructure practice, and franchising and IP expert Sandra Cabezas. Associates Francisco Murillo, Fernando Argumedo, who has additional technology expertise, and Adriana Morán provide support. The group’s portfolio contains household names such as BT (British Telecommunications), Energizer and Roche.

Practice head(s):

Piero Rusconi Gutiérrez; Piero Rusconi Bolaños; Sandra Cabezas

Testimonials

‘It is a team that shows creativity and total availability to meet the client’s needs.’

Key clients

Towerbank International

Prisa Group (Santillana)

Lipman Family Farms

British Telecomunications (BT)

Mabe Group

Palladium International

Nathan Associates

Hugo Technologies

Roche

Smart Fit

Grupo Ferrer Internacional

Keiser University

Energizer Holdings

Kerry Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Prisa Group on the carve-out of its Salvadoran branch in the sale of its editorial business, Santillana.
  • Advised Lipman Family Farms on the granting of production credit contracts.
  • Advised Smart Fit on the expansion of its franchise into El Salvador.

LatinAlliance El Salvador

The corporate practice at LatinAlliance El Salvador combines a multi-disciplinary approach with advanced CRM productivity-measuring tech to optimise performance and advise regional and multinational clients on a diverse span of issues. These include corporate governance, shareholders' agreements, M&A, compliance, the negotiation and review of agreements, and due diligence. The team is led by founding partner José Adolfo Torres and corporate regional head and compliance expert Michelle Sutter, and backed by associates Mario Costa and Norma Villalobos. The group’s client roster covers the banking, construction, automotive, logistics, pharmaceuticals and energy sectors.

Practice head(s):

José Adolfo Torres; Michelle Sutter

Testimonials

‘Advice focused on the needs of the company. The attorneys strive to understand the situation in detail and offer the best solution, in terms of cost, efficiency, time and results.’

‘We would definitely hire the firm again.’

Key clients

Grupo Prival

Grupo Yobel SCM

La Casa De Las Baterías

Glaxosmithkline El Salvador

Banco G&T Continental

Rodio Swissboring

Grupo Coinpro

Work highlights

  • Advised on the transformation of Banco De Fomento Agropecuario from a public bank to a public and private capital bank.
  • Assisted La Casa de las Baterías with several due diligence processes in order to attain local authority permits for every one of its branches in El Salvador.
  • Advising Yobel Supply Management on various corporate matters.

Mayora & Mayora, S.C.

The experienced corporate and M&A group at Mayora & Mayora, S.C. advises local and international clients involved on a diverse spectrum of matters. These include restructurings, due diligence, M&A, corporate governance, regulatory compliance, contracts, share purchase agreements and foreign entity registration. Headed by 'very reliable, capable and dedicated' senior partner Manuel Telles, the team is backed by senior associates Jennifer Rodríguez, who also has expertise in banking and finance matters, Eduardo Telles, an expert in the energy and infrastructure sectors, and Lorena Villacorta, who regularly advises on foreign investment.

Practice head(s):

Manuel Telles

Testimonials

‘They are very accessible, respond promptly to enquires, and are knowledgeable and professional.’

‘The team at Mayora & Mayora has a lot of knowledge of the different types of corporate transactions and the correct way to formalise them.’

‘Manuel Telles is a very reliable, capable and dedicated attorney for his clients.’

Key clients

Banco Internacional De Costa Rica

Grupo Emasal

Inmobiliaria Las Cascadas

Laboratorios Vijosa

Lafise

Neoen

Exor

Telemovil El Salvador (Millicom Group)

The Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund)

Telus International

Work highlights

  • Advises Grupo Emasal on corporate structuring matters.
  • Assisted Laboratorios Vijosa with corporate restructuring.

Romero Pineda

The corporate team at Romero Pineda advises local and international clients on multi-jurisdictional M&A transactions. The group’s full service also extends to due diligence, regional expansion, corporate maintenance, regulatory compliance and the diversification of operations. The team is led by contractual expert Francisco Martínez and supported by firm managing partner and vice president José Roberto RomeroCamila Villafuerte, who heads the banking, finance and insurance division, and associate Roberto Pocasangre. The group’s portfolio includes regional and international clients such as Microsoft, UPS and Copa Airlines, and covers sectors including aviation, energy, health, software and real estate.

Practice head(s):

Francisco Martinez

Key clients

Evergreen Packaging

Compassion International

Microsoft

Amway

Electropura

UPS

Copa Airlines

DFC (US International Development Finance Corporation)

Ufinet

Inkoa

Grupo Bimbo

Work highlights

  • Advised Copa Airlines on the renewal of its commercial permits as well as the management of all Covid -19 related issues.
  • Advising Interjet on various corporate and commercial issues.
  • Advised Inversiones El Caracol on a capitalisation, share transfer and shareholders’ agreement.

Espino Nieto & Asociados

The corporate practice at Espino Nieto & Asociados specialises in enabling foreign investors to gain a foothold in local markets. The team’s services extend to advising on the incorporation of new entities, distribution agreements, contracts, shareholder disputes, due diligence and regulatory compliance. Director Luis Miguel Espino and Pedro Mendoza are the key contacts.

EY Law Central America

The corporate and M&A team at EY Law Central America advises clients at the local and international levels on a broad range of matters, including joint ventures, M&A, regulatory compliance, consumer protection law, free trade zone matters, the incorporation of companies and corporate governance. The group is led by Costa-Rica based Hernán Pacheco, the managing partner for Latam North and Central America, and senior manager Mónica Machuca, who directs the corporate practice in El Salvador and is a foreign investment expert. Senior legal services consultant Jose Quintanilla, who regularly advises on commercial matters and senior legal analyst Gabriela Lemus, who specialises in regulatory compliance are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Hernán Pacheco; Mónica Machuca

Testimonials

‘High level of commitment to the task and a proactive attitude.’

‘Great skills.’

Key clients

SK Electronica y Electricidad

Capella Solar TSK Gensun

OD El Salvador

Ska Tracking And Security El Salvador

Witec El Salvador

Thyssenkrupp Elevadores

Kimberly-Clark de Centro América

Brambles Finance – Chep

Protección De Valores

Innogen Capital Ventures

Wärtsilä Finland Oy

Sykes Enterprises

Repuestos Cummins Pesados de El Salvador

Industrias Alimenticias Kern’s

Fomilenio

LatamLex | Guandique Segovia Quintanilla (GSQ)

The corporate team at LatamLex | Guandique Segovia Quintanilla (GSQ) provides a diverse span of services to clients. These include advising on commercial agreements, company creation, franchises, M&A and restructuring, and joint ventures. Carlos Quintanilla and Carlos Guzmán are key contacts.

Lexincorp

The corporate and M&A team at Lexincorp assists a roster of regional and national clients across a broad range of matters, including joint ventures, M&A, corporate governance, consumer protection issues, cross-border transactions, tax planning and restructuring. Corporate and banking expert Enrique Escobar heads the team, which is supported by transaction specialist Antonio Guirola and M&A expert Adriana Portillo. The group’s client portfolio covers the energy, banking and telecoms sectors.

Practice head(s):

Enrique Escobar

Key clients

Boskalis

Ventus

Samm Towage

Sfera Legal

The corporate law practice at Sfera Legal maintains a regional presence, advising corporations on a diverse range of matters. These include shareholders' agreements, due diligence, the incorporation of legal entities, restructurings, joint ventures and stock option plans. Spearheaded by Mario Antonio Ayala and Mario Ernesto Ayala, the team represents clients across the energy, agriculture and engineering sectors.

Practice head(s):

Mario Antonio Ayala; Mario Ernesto Ayala

Work highlights

  • Advised Ingeniería Verde de El Salvador on corporate matters and complementary legal areas.
  • Advised Orius Biotech El Salvador on corporate matters relating to the company’s entry to El Salvador.
  • Assisted Enersys Solar with corporate matters relating to its solar electricity distribution services in El Salvador.

Sáenz & Asociados

The team at Sáenz & Asociados assists a roster of national and international clients, providing a full range of corporate services. These include advising on regulatory compliance, contract negotiation and corporate tax planning. The firm’s client base covers such sectors as energy, construction and telecoms. M&A expert Mario Enrique Sáenz and Ana Guadalupe Sáenz Padilla are the key contacts.