Banking and finance in Guatemala

Consortium Legal

Consortium Legal 'is and always has been a leader in the banking industry, providing solid advice to clients', and is praised for its 'ample knowledge and skill'. The team mainly acts for international banks and multinationals, including Citibank and Bank of America, but also has a strong client base of local and regional financial institutions including Banco Azteca and Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior (Bladex). The practice is led by Álvaro Castellanos with the support of Diego Alejos who was appointed partner in January 2020; both are 'outstanding' and 'understand the client and the client's needs'. In recent highlights, Castellanos and Alejos acted for investors including Wells Fargo Bank on the financing of Banco Industrial's $350m issuance under its diversified payment rights programme, and advised IDB Invest, as lender and agent, on a $75m subordinated loan facility to Banco G&T Continental. The firm is also noted for its expanding fintech practice.

Mayora & Mayora, S.C.

Mayora & Mayora, S.C.'s blue-chip client base includes a range of international financial institutions - among them Citibank, the International Finance Corporation and JPMorgan Chase - and local and regional banks such as Banco Industrial and Banco Azteca. The team advises on loan financing, financial transactions, structured finance, project finance and foreign investment, regularly advising companies seeking to invest in Guatemala, and is also noted for its capital markets expertise. Claudia Pereira and Sandra Castillo, who has expertise in security trusts, lead the team; Pereira and senior associate María Fernanda Morales Pellecer advised Sucden Americas on the grant of a $25m promissory note to various Guatemalan sugar mills. The team also includes senior partner Eduardo A Mayora, who continues to serve as legal counsel to the Guatemalan national stock exchange, Bolsa de Valores Nacional.

QIL+4 ABOGADOS, S.A.

QIL+4 ABOGADOS, S.A. attracts praise for its 'strong knowledge of regulatory and finance laws' and the 'amazing quality' of its lawyers, who are 'always available for a quick call or email'. While the team is known for its project finance expertise, more recently it has been active in advising on corporate loans and debt issuances. The practice is jointly led by founding partners Marcos Ibargüen, Alejandro Cofiño and José Quiñones; recent highlights include Ibargüen advising construction equipment company Caterpillar Crédito on the financing of heavy machinery, and Cofiño acting for Banco de Crédito del Perú on the amendment and restatement of a guaranty agreement with CBC Peruana, the Peruvian subsidiary of the Central America Bottling Corporation. The 'outstandingAndrés Lowenthal specialises in project finance. Other clients include local and foreign banks and multinationals such as Citibank, JPMorgan Chase and Bancolombia.

Aguilar Castillo Love

Aguilar Castillo Love has extensive experience advising on complex banking transactions; securities, derivatives and other financial products; and a range of capital markets matters such as bond issuances. The team is led by senior partner Juan Carlos Castillo, who is highly regarded for his expertise in project finance for the energy (particularly electricity) sector. Among other highlights, Castillo and associate Iván David Quintana Hernández advised Inkia Energy, Credit Suisse, Scotiabank and Santander on a $450m bond issuance and the $150m re-tap of the same issuance under Rule 144A/Regulation S. Recently promoted partner Natalia Callejas Aquino specialises in fintech matters, with clients including digital currency company G-Coin.

Arias

Jorge Luis Arenales leads the team at Arias, which advises local and international clients on secured and unsecured lending, structured financing, project finance, and private equity financing, among other matters. The practice is particularly noted for its expertise in multi-jurisdictional transactions. Highlights included acting for longstanding clients Bladex, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank as lenders on the completion of a $223m syndicated credit facility granted to Proamerica Financial Corporation to finance its acquisition of Banco Citibank de Guatemala. Luis Pedro Del Valle, who specialises in investment grade and acquisition finance, and senior associate Ligia Salazar, who has expertise in advising on financial transactions in the aviation sector, are also key contacts.

BLP

BLP's 'very efficient', 'business-oriented' team has 'a wide spectrum of knowledge' in the banking and finance sector, advising on project financing, debt restructuring, loan facilities, commercial banking, bond issuances and private equity transactions. The team mainly acts for local and international banks, including Credit Suisse, Scotiabank and BAC Florida Bank, but has also been active on the borrower side. Among other highlights, 'impressive' practice head María Inés Arenales and 'efficient and diligent' associate Alcy Martínez advised Cinven Management on the financing of its $628.5m acquisition of Ufinet Group’s operations in the region, and assisted Proamerica Financial Corporation with the amendment and restatement of a credit agreement with a number of banks.

Carrillo & Asociados

Carrillo & Asociados advises on commercial lending, foreign loans, project finance and loan restructuring; the team has particular expertise in financial transactions in the aviation sector, counting Cessna Finance Corporation among its clients. The firm is also noted for its advice on regulatory compliance and its extensive insolvency practice; recent highlights include Rodrigo Callejas and senior associate Emanuel Callejas advising PricewaterhouseCoopers, as a custodian of Bancafe International Bank, on the recovery of $100m-worth of assets. Rodolfo Alegría, who jointly heads the team with Rodrigo Callejas, has experience of commercial lending and project finance, and senior associate Mélida Pineda advises on secured transactions.

Lexincorp

Luis Pedro Fuxet heads the team at Lexincorp, which handles complex credit structures, the structuring of syndicated loans, the establishment of guarantee trusts and debt services, and structured securisation of assets abroad. Clients include local and international financial institutions and companies. In recent highlights, Fuxet and Edvin Montoya advised wind power project Eólico San Antonio El Sitio on a credit modification, and Julio Aparicio acted for textile company Bienno on the restructuring of a $7.5m loan. Gonzalo Menéndez González has assisted a number of financial groups including Thor Capital with factoring and credit contract documents.