Corporate/M&A in Guatemala

Arias

The 'extremely friendly and diligent' team at Arias makes clients feel 'confident that they are in good hands'. The firm recently added major companies including Coca-Cola Femsa and McDonald's Guatemala to its impressive client base; it acts for a range of local and international businesses, including a number of leading pharmaceutical companies. Alongside the firm's El Salvador office, Luis Pedro Del Valle (who is 'highly skilled and motivated' and 'a fine lawyer') acted as local counsel to Telefónica Centroamérica Inversiones on the sale of its businesses in Central America and Panama. In another recent highlight, practice head Jorge Luis Arenales advised Brazilian multinational Eurofarma on the acquisition of products from Laboratorios Stein. The team also includes senior associates Vivian Morales, who specialises in corporate governance matters, and Jorge Luis Molina, who is 'great in negotiations and business orientated'.

Carrillo & Asociados

Rodolfo Alegría leads the practice at Carrillo & Asociados, which advises on a wide range of corporate matters, including M&A, cross-border transactions, joint ventures, and the incorporation, amendment and reorganisation of entitites. The team is particularly active in the energy, retail, agro-industrial, telecoms and banking sectors. Highlights included advising a company on the downsizing of its corporate structure and assisting another client with the dismantling of its holding company, the sale of its interest in local subsidiaries to local partners, and the creation of a franchising structure. Rodrigo Callejas, who focuses on handling international M&A transactions, and senior associate Mélida Pineda, who has experience in corporate governance matters, are also key contacts.

Consortium Legal

Consortium Legal's 'well-formed and committed team is always willing to achieve the client's goals', advising on M&A transactions, the negotiation of joint ventures, and the sale of businesses. The practice acts for a number of clients in the financial services sector; it recently conducted a due diligence exercise for a financial entity on the possible acquisition of the optical fibre business of a company in Central America, and assisted another financial client with the due diligence for the acquisition of an energy company in Guatemala. In another highlight, Rafael Alvarado Riedel and Alfredo Rodríguez advised Energizer Holdings at the post-closing stage of its $2bn acquisition of Spectrum's operations in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Costa Rica. Alvarado, Rodríguez and Álvaro Castellanos lead the team, which also includes senior associate Javier Santizo.

Mayora & Mayora, S.C.

Mayora & Mayora, S.C. counts a large number of international companies among its clients, advising GBM, Productos Roche, Chevron and Obrascón Huarte Lain, among others, on day-to-day corporate matters and governance. The team also advises on incorporations, corporate contracts, M&A, due diligence, restructurings and joint ventures. Areas of expertise include the automotive, chemical, energy, financial and healthcare sectors. The practice is led by Claudia Pereira, who specialises in domestic and cross-border M&A and corporate restructurings, and acts for numerous major Guatemalan and multinational companies. Sandra Castillo has expertise in business entity formation, M&A and corporate regulation, and senior associate María de la Concepción Villeda regularly advises on corporate governance. Eduardo A Mayora is also a highly regarded member of the team.

QIL+4 ABOGADOS, S.A.

QIL+4 ABOGADOS, S.A. regularly advises on restructurings, performs due diligence, and assists with joint ventures and M&A transactions, particularly with a multi-jurisdictional element. The team has longstanding experience acting for local and regional investment banks and is also noted for its strong client base in the energy, telecoms and agro-industry sectors. Recent highlights include José Quiñones and senior associate Santiago Granados assisting RCMA Americas with the sale of its Guatemalan interests in the coffee trade. The practice is led by Marcos Ibargüen, who has been particularly active advising corporate clients on compliance with expected new competition legislation, and María Isabel Luján, whose areas of expertise include negotiating shareholders' agreements for local and international investors. Andrés Lowenthal counts a number of US and Latin American investment funds and other companies among his clients.

Aguilar Castillo Love

Aguilar Castillo Love's 'client-focused' team is noted for its strength in major M&A transactions, particularly those involving foreign corporations and the energy sector. The practice also stands out for its advice to international companies and local, family-owned businesses on corporate governance matters. Juan Carlos Castillo, who leads the practice, is 'very business oriented, always responsive and a great go-to person for work in Guatemala'. Recently promoted partner Natalia Callejas Aquino is also a key contact; she has been advising healthcare technology company Iqvia on day-to-day corporate matters, as well as its recent worldwide rebranding. Other major clients include American Tower, Dow Chemical, Whirlpool and AstraZeneca. Associate Iván David Quintana Hernández has particular expertise in cross-border M&A transactions in the telecoms sector.

BLP

BLP's 'involvement in a project is its greatest strength'; the team is praised for its 'ability to communicate' and 'understanding of business'. The practice advises on franchising issues, assists foreign companies with setting up operations in Guatemala, conducts due diligence and advises on M&A transactions. The firm has particular strength in the technology, pharmaceuticals, consumer goods and banking sectors, with clients including Samsung, Uber, Abbott Laboratories, Kraft-Heinz and Promerica Financial Corporation. Highlights included María Inés Arenales and associate Alcy Martínez advising Quala on the sale of its portfolio of cosmetics and personal care items in Central America to Unilever, and Luis Ruiz assisting Brazilian gym franchise Smart Fit with its entry into the Guatemalan market and opening of gyms in 12 locations in the country. Senior counsel Alejandro Arenales is also highly regarded.

CENTRAL LAW Guatemala

CENTRAL LAW Guatemala advises local and international clients, including Abt Associates, Energizer Holdings, Arcadis and Baxter, on matters such as expansion into the Guatemalan market, corporate restructuring, M&A and corporate compliance policies. The team is also noted for its advice to clients in the telecoms and mining industries. In recent highlights, practice head Juan Pablo Carrasco de Groote and associate Verónica González advised Colombian confectionery company CI Dulces La Americana, which manufactures and distributes Americandy, on the acquisition of Guatemalan company Fábrica de Confites La Tropical, as well as assisting Cushman & Wakefield | AB Advisory with the constitution of its local subsidiary.

Comte & Font – Legalsa

At Comte & Font – Legalsa, 'what makes the firm unique is the level of engagement of each team member'. The team has strengths in a range of areas, including advising national and foreign investors on cross-border transactions and assisting with the establishment of new business ventures in Guatemala, and is particularly active in the energy and aviation sectors, advising a number of clients on the sale and acquisition of aircraft. David Font, who leads the team along with newly promoted partner Johann Hartleben, recently advised a sawmill company with operations across Latin America on a cross-border corporate restructure, and acted for Mexican telecoms corporation América Móvil on the $333m acquisition of Telefónica Móviles Guatemala. Other key clients include Glovo App, Fridays Guatemala and Compañía Agrícola Industrial Santa Ana.

EY Law Central America

EY Law Central America has been particularly active advising on cross-border M&A transactions across Central America, as well as the organisation of public-private partnerships in the region. Practice co-head Enrique Möller Sánchez specialises in advising local and international companies on modernising their corporate structures, corporate governance and compliance with Guatemalan corporate regulations. Ruby Asturias heads the M&A side of the practice, and has extensive experience acting for large multinationals, particularly from the healthcare, energy and manufacturing sectors. She and manager Martin Barillas advised a private security company on the acquisition of a business with operations in Central America and Colombia, and a multinational in the chemical industry on the high-value acquisition of another company.

A. D. Sosa & Soto

The 'great, very organised and efficient' team at A. D. Sosa & Soto is 'testament to the fact that you can achieve success combining tradition and innovation'. The firm counts the local subsidiaries of a number of multinationals among its clients, including Kimberly-Clark, Huawei Technologies and Latin American Agribusiness Development Corporation, and also advises a number of financial institutions on corporate matters. The team is led by Juan Sebastián Soto - 'a professional with extensive knowledge of legal issues in Guatemala and also internationally' - and also includes Einar Klanderud and Carlos Rafael Pellecer. Highlights included advising telecoms company Transpagos on its merger with Fundación Génesis Empresarial.

LatamLex | Skinner-Klée & Asociados

Alfredo Skinner-Klée leads the practice at LatamLex | Skinner-Klée & Asociados, which acts for a number of large regional clients, as well as international companies including Philip Morris International, Del Monte Fresh Produce and Neumann Gruppe. Recently, the team advised Guatemalan textile company Tecnología Textil Avanzada on a possible joint venture with multinational company Unifi, which ultimately did not go ahead. María Gabriela Coronado Díaz is also a key contact; she advises companies on their formation, day-to-day operations and administration. Andrés Calderón moved to an in-house role at Puma Energy, but the team was joined by senior associate Sheyla Nadim Vargas Monroy.

Lexincorp

The 'discreet, proactive, decent, honest and dependable' team at Lexincorp attracts praise for its 'loyalty and concern for the client's needs'. Recent highlights include the 'outstanding' Julio Aparicio advising the owners of the Ihop and Tiendas Mass franchises in Guatemala on the sale of shares; in addition, Edvin Montoya advised Guanacaste Industria de Extracción de Caucho en Crudo on a proposed merger, and assisted Palmas del Ixcan with its transformation from a limited liability company to a corporation. The team is also highly active in the real estate sector, where José Andrés Fuxet has particular expertise. Other clients include Hiper Telas, Ingenio La Unión and Grupo Cobán.

Novales Abogados

Novales Abogados is noted for its strength in advising on corporate matters in the energy sector; clients include Transportadora de Energía de Centroamérica (TRECSA), EEB Ingeniería y Servicios (EEBIS) and Enel Green Power Guatemala. The firm also acts for a range of large and family-owned national companies, as well as international businesses and investors attempting to expand into Central America. Highlights included Cristián Novales Schlesinger advising Selina Hostels on the incorporation of six companies, and Javier Novales Schlesinger assisting Colombian retailer Arturo Calle with setting up its operations in Guatemala. Founding partner Alfonso Novales Aguirre, who is known for his expertise in the aviation sector, is also a key contact.

Palomo Abogados

Palomo Abogados' team stands out for its 'good attention to detail' and gives clients 'confidence in its professional capability'. The firm is particularly active advising maritime and insurance clients on corporate matters, and also has expertise in the real estate, food and beverage, and media sectors. Juan José Porras, Federico Palomo and Héctor Palomo jointly lead the practice: Porras advised clothing manufacturer VF Corporation on the organisation of a new branch in Guatemala; Federico Palomo assisted US REIT Uniti Group with the sale of 55 telecoms towers in Nicaragua; and Héctor Palomo provides day-to-day corporate advice to clients including Procaps, Cooperativa de Productores de Leche Dos Pinos and Grupo Publigrafik. 'Excellent' associate Sara Rivera offers 'very good support'.

Bermejo & Bermejo

Local family firm Bermejo & Bermejo has a growing corporate practice, and is particularly active advising Guatemalan companies on their expansion into the Central American market. The team has a number of clients in the infrastructure, agricultural chemicals, and food and beverages sectors, including Agrocentro, Carso Infraestructura y Construcción and Inversiones Moka. The aviation sector is also an area of strength; practice head Luis Fernando Bermejo and Luis Pedro Bermejo recently advised Guatemalan airline Transportes Aéreos Guatemaltecos on the acquisition of an airline in Costa Rica. Other highlights include assisting Embotelladora la Fortuna with its acquisition of Embotelladora Fersan's Guatemalan assets.

BMTLAW

BMTLAW acts for a range of clients across the financial, manufacturing, aviation, mining and electrical sectors, including General Electric Company, Cessna, A&E Products and Banco Industrial. Past highlights included advising Duke Energy on the sale of its businesses in Latin America to I Squared Capital. Senior partner Jorge Rolando Barrios, a former head of the Guatemalan Bar Association, and Lorena Barrios, who has expertise in energy and foreign investment, are the key contacts.

Sfera Legal

Central American firm Sfera Legal expanded into Guatemala in September 2018 through its merger with local firm Asensio Andrade Flores. The 'very capable and knowledgeable' team delivers 'excellent service'; 'among its greatest strengths are trust, confidentiality, integrity and professionalism'. It advises on M&A, restructuring, commercial contracts and the constitution of companies, with a particular focus on the real estate and telecoms sectors. The 'intelligent and knowledgeable' Ignacio Andrade Aycinena leads the team; he and senior associate Alejandro Solares Solares 'provide an attentive and personal service, and give priority to the client's requirements'.