The role for international firms in the Latin America banking and finance segment continues to be significant. A greater demand for international finance in Brazil has provided a welcome source of additional engagements. Brazil, like all Latin America nations, has a fervent need for new and improved infrastructure, along with new energy sources. International commercial lenders, along with multilateral agency lenders, export credit agencies (ECAs) and development finance institutions (DFI) are fundamental to Latin America's economic development. At the same time, the region remains politically and economically volatile, resulting in a multitude of major debt restructurings. The impact of Covid-19, which has been substantial in Brazil, Peru and other countries, will inevitably result in more distressed situations and restructuring processes.
Banking and finance in Latin America: International firms
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton remains the market leader in major restructurings in Latin America, particularly in Brazil where it has advised on a series of headline transactions. Moreover, with more international financing going into Brazil, it is more frequently advising its illustrious Brazilian borrower clients. The firm has continued to build out its financing record, including for major banks and credit funds, along with its traditional institutional borrower base. Moreover, the market's move towards more covenant heavy and structured transactions has worked in the firm's favour. The firm has an outstanding banking and finance record in the key economies of Mexico, Chile, Argentina and Brazil, although it has a successful practice right across Latin America and the Caribbean. Richard Cooper is a recognised market leading force in Latin America restructurings. Sao Paulo-based Francisco Cestero has made a further impression in Brazil bankruptcies, restructurings and new money lending. Buenos Aires partner Andrés De La Cruz is a key figure in Southern Cone financings and restructurings. Adam Brenneman is also noted for restructurings along with asset-backed and receivables financings across Latin America. Chantal Kordula is recommended for project finance, while Jorge Juantorena focuses on Mexico capital markets transactions, along with financings and restructurings. Manuel Silva was promoted to partner in January 2020 and Sao Paulo-based Jonathan Mendes de Oliveira was promoted to counsel. All named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise.
‘Cleary has a team that is familiar with Brazilian cross-border insolvency matters and has above average language skills and local knowledge. They are certainly among elite advisors for this type of work.‘
‘The firm is a one stop shop, where we are able to seek counsel on diverse complex issues and we receive excellent advice and work.‘
‘They are fully bicultural and bilingual.‘
The Steering Committee of the ad hoc group of Oi’s bondholders
Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX)
Ad hoc group of secured project finance lenders – Constellation Oil Services Holding
Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE)
Mexican Ministry of Finance and Mexico City Airport Trust (MEXCAT)
- Served as international counsel to the steering committee of an ad hoc group of over 70 bondholder institutions in connection with the restructuring of Oi and certain of its subsidiaries.
- Counsel to Odebrecht in its ongoing restructuring proceedings, which will be the biggest judicial reorganization proceeding in Brazilian history.
- Acted for Odebrecht Engenharia e Construção in its debt restructuring with an ad hoc group of bondholders.
- Advised Suzano Papel e Celulose in connection with the acquisition financing for its acquisition of Fibria Celulose, the largest acquisition financing ever in Latin America.
- Represented Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex), the Mexican state oil company, in connection with its entry into a $5.5bn revolving credit facility and a $2.5bn term loan facility.
Clifford Chance operates an outstanding Latin America banking and finance practice, principally driven by its New York, Sao Paulo and Washington DC offices. It operates a wide-ranging practice covering acquisition finance, project finance, trade finance and corporate lending. It is especially noted for big-ticket Brazilian deals, thanks in part to the presence of a substantial banking and finance team in Sao Paulo and top Brazil-specialist Chris Willott in New York; Willott previously spent several years in Sao Paulo. The Latin America team is also highly-rated for restructurings, project bonds and hybrid products, and has an extensive record in multilateral agency (MLA) and export credit agency (ECA) lending thanks to its substantial team in Washington DC. Clients range from major commercial lenders, to development finance institutions (DFIs) and agency lenders, and Latin American and international borrowers. Gianluca Bacchiocchi is a market leader in Latin America project bonds, asset backed securities, and private issuances of future-flow backed securities. Daniel Winick is increasingly active in Latin America financings, while Washington DC's Catherine McCarthy and Lori Ann Bean are key to a range of MLA, DFI and commercial lender relationships for Latin America. Jennifer DeMarco has an outstanding record in Latin America restructurings. Newly elected partner Guido Liniado is an emerging talent, as is counsel Andrew Young. Madrid partner José Guardo is noted for renewable energy financings in the region. Named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise. Since publication Bacchiocchi and Liniado have moved to Latham & Watkins, effective as of January 2021.
‘Clifford Chance’s team takes the initiative more than any firm I have worked with to anticipate issues and provide solutions. They always meet their commitments.‘
‘Jose Guardo and Patricio Abal have managed a diverse lender group to help reach agreement and effectively negotiate with the sponsors. Their professionalism throughout a difficult series of negotiations has been critical in keeping the deal moving.‘
Latin America Power
- Advised Klabin, as borrower, in relation to a combined $800m loan to be used to expand Klabin’s existing pulp and paper facility, increase its cogeneration capacity and install certain waste and water treatment and gasification plants in Brazil. The team also assisted the client in relation to a US$245m credit agreement provided by Finland’s ECA Finnvera to fund the construction of a new kraftliner paper machine.
- Advised BTG Pactual on a $250m secured acquisition financing in connection with the purchase of shares in Petrobras Oil & Gas.
- Acted as the arranger on the financing for the acquisition and development of Sao Paulo Metro Line 6 by a concessionaire sponsored by Acciona (ongoing).
- Advised Samarco Mineração on its approximately US$3bn debt restructuring following a dam rupture that caused it to cease operations, incurring extensive environmental liabilities and damages claims of more than $40bn. The restructuring involves both bondholders as well as syndicated and bilateral lenders. The loan facilities amount to about $1.5bn and involve eight lenders.
- Advising the sponsors with respect to the R$1.3bn IDB financing of the expansion of a 370km road concession in Minas Gerais, Brazil, involivng both a Reais denominated loan and an infrastructure bond arranged by IDB.
Milbank is a global leader in cross-border finance and project financings. Its outstanding emerging market credentials are very much in evidence in Latin America, where it has an extensive record in big-ticket financings right across the region. The firm is particularly noted for power and energy, oil and gas, and infrastructure sector financings. It is also recognised for its leveraged finance experience in the region. It has virtually unrivalled experience in big-ticket financings, including those involving multiple lenders. The firm advised a group of five international banks acting as lead arrangers on a $2.5bn syndicated revolving credit facility for Mexico’s América Móvil, Latin America's largest telecommunications company. It benefits from having a number of established senior names within the team along with a growing cohort of emerging lawyers, many of which speak fluent Spanish, Portuguese or both. Daniel Bartfeld leads the global project, energy and infrastructure finance practice and has an outstanding record in Latin America oil and gas, power, energy and transportation infrastructure-related projects. Carlos Albarracin covers capital markets along with bank and structured financings; much of his practice centres on energy and infrastructure, particularly in Mexico, Colombia and Argentina. Carolina Walther-Meade concentrates on infrastructure, power, oil and gas, and mining projects, while having a notable record in acquisition and structured financings in Latin America. Jaime Ramirez continues to impress as a rising talent, including Colombia deals, and Roland Estevez is a key figure for project finance.
‘Milbank is one of the most experienced project finance law firms in LatAm. They are results oriented rather than ego driven. As such, on difficult or complex transactions, they excel in finding a way forward.‘
‘Dan Bartfeld continues to be my first choice in the market. He is efficient and non-combative, able to progress transactions during difficult moments. Further, his depth of experience is second to none.‘
‘Roland Estevez is a tireless worker with an upbeat attitude that is oftentimes necessary in getting projects across the finish line.’
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
JP Morgan Chase Bank
Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM)
I-Squared Capital Advisors
Pan American Energy
- Represented PetroRecôncavo in its $250m acquisition financing for the acquisition of various onshore oil fields from Petrobras.
- Represented Peruvian gas transmission and distribution company, Contugas, in connection with a credit facility for up to $355m.
- Counsel to a group of five international banks acting as lead arrangers on a $2.5bn syndicated revolving credit facility for Mexico’s América Móvil.
- Represented the lead arrangers and lenders in the landmark Votorantim Cimentos sustainability-indexed revolving credit facility, one of the first such loan agreements in the cement industry.
- Represented the lenders in connection with a $500m syndicated credit facility for Ternium Brasil.
Shearman & Sterling LLP has an extensive history in Latin America and continues to demonstrate a deep commitment to the region. The core banking and finance group has an excellent record in acquisition finance, structured finance, export and pre-export finance, restructurings and bank/bond financings. In Denise Grant and Cynthia Urda Kassis, it has two of the premier Latin America banking and finance professionals in the market; the latter is widely known for her experience in the mining and metals sector. The wider team represents a range of international and Latin American commercial lenders, MLAs and ECAs, and big-name corporate borrowers in Latin America and has recently impressed in major corporate loans, acquisition financings, restructurings and workouts, along with hybrid financings involving the capital markets. It recently advised Mizuho Bank (as administrative agent), and HSBC Securities and JPMorgan Chase Bank (as global coordinators) in an $8bn loan to Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex). Other key partners include emerging talent Alexandro Padrés, noted for his expertise in the power and mining sectors. Augusto Ruiloba impresses at senior associate level.
‘High technical knowledge, professional dedication and excellent team management.‘
‘Empathetic, commercially open and creative people with a view to solving complex negotiations. The level of legal knowledge of the entire team is very good.’
JP Morgan Chase
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
ENAP Sipetrol Argentina
Ameris Capital Administradora General de Fondos
AES Argentina Generación
Republic Bank Limited
- Advised Mizuho Bank as administrative agent, and HSBC Securities and JPMorgan Chase Bank as global coordinators, in an $8bn loan to Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex).
- Advised Bluestone Resources on the assessment of various potential sources of financing (traditional and alternative) for its Cerro Blanco gold mining project in Guatemala, including the preparation and negotiation of term sheets and mandate letters.
- Represented Metropolitan Life Insurance Company on a $314m secured term loan to a joint venture between Mexican developer Advance Real Estate and Canadian pension fund Public Sector Pension Investment Board to finance the acquisition and recapitalization of a large portfolio of Class A industrial properties in ten markets across Mexico.
- Represented Republic Bank of Trinidad & Tobago in connection with financings from Inter-American Investment Corporation and International Finance Corporation.
- Advised Australis Mar and its Chinese owner Joyvio in connection with obtaining a $160m loan from Bank of China.
White & Case LLP's commitment to Latin America banking and finance, encompasses large teams in Miami, New York, Washington DC, Sao Paulo and Mexico City. With the growth in international financing coming into Brazil, the Sao Paulo office has captured a significant market share of big-ticket deals, thanks in part to the presence of highly-rated partner John Anderson and top name Donald Baker. The Sao Paulo team is noted for acquisition finance, project finance, restructurings and a number of other financing product areas. The firm has also achieved a substantial slice of the major restructurings in Latin America, with much credit going to John Cunningham and Richard Kebrdle in London and Miami respectively. Sabrena Silver in New York, impresses in Latin America acquisition finance for both banks and borrowers. Newly minted partner Anna Andreeva and Jeannine Acevedo in Miami, and Thomas Pate in New York are amongst the firm's next generation of top partners. Carlos Viana leads the Latin America practice from Miami and continues to earn accolades for project financings, particularly in the renewables segment.
‘White & Case does not limit its advice to the contract or specific transaction, they do a comprehensive counselling, providing insights of the strategy for future deals. And they always set the basis to improve the company’s bargaining position.‘
‘They have the knowledge and experience working in different projects and financing operations in Latin America, so you know that your back is covered and it will be easier to reach an agreement with your counterparty.‘
‘Their office in Miami, Florida, is close to Latin America so it is an excellent venue to schedule meetings between all the parties involved in the transactions.‘
‘Carlos Viana gives strategic advise on how to interact with our counterparties and our internal approval processes.‘
‘Thomas Pate is very proactive and also points us in the appropriate direction to solve the pending items on each deal. If he considers that we need to make a commercial effort, instead of a legal one, he always gives that advice avoiding a protracted negotiation.’
‘John Anderson; simplicity and availability in service.‘
‘The White & Case banking and finance partner who assists us with finance agreements is Fernando de la Hoz. He has a lot of experience with finance agreements and has worked in the past as a secondee at Vale. Therefore, he has a great knowledge of the company and of all its specificities. Moreover, he knows Portuguese, which facilitates interaction. I have been working with Sean Williams from Fernando’s team too, and have also appreciated his work.‘
Banco do Brasil
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
BNP Paribas Securities
Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank
Citigroup Global Markets
Constellation Oil Services
I Squared Capital
Nautilus Energy Partners
Petróleo Brasileiro (Petrobras)
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
- Represented Samay in the $330m refinancing of its 708MW cold reserve power plant in the district of Mollendo, Peru.
- Advised a syndicate of banks on a $200m New York law-governed green term loan and revolving credit facility extended to Acciona Financiación Filiales Chile.
- Represented a syndicate of ten global and Brazil-based banks on the financing of a consortium’s acquisition of a 90% share in Transportadora Associada de Gas, the owner of a 4,500km gas pipeline system in Brazil.
- Advised Petrobras on a $3.25bn revolving loan and credit facility provided by a syndicate of 18 global banks.
- International counsel to Constellation Oil Services on the restructuring of its $1.5bn New York law-governed bonds, project financing loans, and working capital facilities.
Allen & Overy LLP's lean and powerful team sits primarily in its Sao Paulo, New York and Washington DC offices. Leveraging the firm's outstanding banking and finance credentials, the core Latin America team is active across the product range and in multiple geographies. It is at the forefront of emerging sectors such as green loans. Moreover, it impresses with its strong connections to commercial banks, agency lenders and corporate borrowers; it has particularly strong corporate relationships in Brazil thanks to the presence of prominent name Bruno Soares in Sao Paulo. The firm has also achieved considerable success in targeting ECAs, MLAs and DFIs through its Washington DC office; DC partner Sami Mir has built an enviable practice for these institutions with a heavy focus on Latin America, while Jean Lee has further bolstered this segment since returning to DC from Seoul in 2019. This emphasis has landed the firm a series of headline and landmark deals including advising IFC on its $2bn working capital facility programme to fund emerging market banking clients for on-lending to small to medium business enterprises to help counter the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. New York partner Dorina Yessios is another key figure in the team with excellent connections to commercial lenders. Former New York senior counsel Andrés Arnaldos Montaner has joined Ashurst LLP.
‘Efficient allocation of resources between the partner and the senior associate, deep knowledge of the financing product and its specificities, lots of patience to deal with a client and client”s counsel less familiar with this financing product.‘
‘The A&O team is well experienced in operating across the Latin American continent. Their skill and expertise in the region is first class.‘
‘Kudos to Sami Mir and Christine Steenman for closing this transaction. They were instrumental in bridging the gap between this investment grade client and the usual requirements of an ECA.‘
‘Dorina Yessios has a stellar team. They are adept at seeing all sides of the discussion and clearly and effectively leading the discussion to an acceptable commercial position for all stakeholders.‘
‘Dorina Yessios and her team showed determination, professionalism and honesty in their work as counsel to lenders. They not only did not appear to mind the long execution schedule, but also went the extra mile in de facto taking over the role of the coordinating bank and leading banks in their due diligence.‘
International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Inter-American Investment Corporation (IDB Invest)
North American Development Bank (NADB)
Japan International Cooperation (JICA)
Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (CA-CIB)
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA)
Eksport Kredit Fonden (EKF)
CSP – Companhia Siderúrgica do Pecém
Bank of Nova Scotia
Banco BTG Pactual
- Advised IFC on its $2bn working capital facility programme to provide funding to emerging market banking clients for on-lending to small-to-medium business enterprises to help counter the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Advised IFC, NADB, JICA and DFC on the $555m financing to Infraestructura Energética Nova (IEnova) for the construction, completion, ownership and operation of five solar generation plants in Mèxico, with a total capacity of 526MW.
- Advised VLI Multimodal in connection with an up to $50m unsecured term loan facility provided by Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), for the purposes of funding railway maintenance.
- Advised Companhia Siderúrgica do Pecém (CSP), Vale, POSCO and Dongkuk Steel on the restructuring of the $3.1bn project financing of CSP’s integrated steel mill in the State of Ceará, Brazil.
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP has an impressive core Latin America practice supplemented by a sizeable group of experienced lawyers that have a strong emphasis on the region. The Latin America team has established a healthy portfolio of corporate borrower clients, while the wider banking group in New York represents a range of active lenders. The firm is also at the forefront of special situations transactions, particularly in Brazil, where it represents lenders, bondholders and borrowers. Debtor in possession (DIP) and other distressed financings are another forte for the firm. It advised LifeMiles on the restructuring of Avianca, involving a $100m incremental term loan facility to an existing $415m senior secured credit facility. New York partner James Florack is co-head of the global credit group and head of the Latin America banking and finance practice; he has a fine record in leveraged financings in the region. Manuel Garciadiaz is head of the Latin America practice, co-head of the Sao Paulo office, and is noted for structured finance, project finance and restructurings; he is also a leader in the capital markets and M&A segments. Sao Paulo's Stephen Hood and James Vickers are prominent figures in Latin America project finance and leveraged lending. Timothy Graulich has an outstanding record in Latin America bankruptcies and restructurings.
Mexichem (now known as Orbia)
- Advised Citibank, as lender, in connection with a secured term loan facility to Global Airline Ventures, which controls Azul, a B3 listed company that is the largest airline in Brazil by number of departures and destinations.
- Advised Banco Davivienda on a $243m finance agreement with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
- Advised FCC Construction of Spain and Carso Infraestructura y Construcción of Mexico, acting as a consortium, Consorcio FCC, on a $535m payment certificate (CPP) purchase financing facility provided by Central American Bank for Economic development (CABEI) in connection with the construction of part of Panama’s Western highway project known as Corredor de Playas I.
- Advised Digicel Group in connection with four Rule 144A/Reg S exchange offers, as a result of which, DGL successfully extended the maturity of more than 95% of its outstanding debt by two years.
With a focus on acquisition financings, trade finance transactions, project financings, and financial restructurings, Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP's Miami office has a close association with Latin America, particularly regarding syndicated and bilateral loan facilities. It is also a leader in aviation finance. Brazil remains its principal country for syndicated and bilateral loans, but it has achieved greater penetration of the Mexico, Colombia, Paraguay and Central America markets. It represents a multitude of major international lenders, along with some of the biggest banks in Latin America. It also advised a number of sovereign and corporate borrowers in the region. Amy Dulin is co-head of the banking and finance practice and is a market leader in Brazil syndicated and bilateral lending. Co-head of the Latin America practice Federico Goudie covers restructurings and structured finance; he also speaks Portuguese and Spanish having grown up in Brazil. Mark Denham is another partner to have been raised in Brazil and continues to be a leading light in aviation finance in the jurisdiction and across the region. Counsel Emilio Saiz is also well regarded, while experienced Washington DC counsel James Alford has reinforced the team having joined from Stinson Leonard Street LLP in June 2019. Since publication, the firm has hired Carlos Lobo from Veirano Advogados, to further strengthen its corporate and capital markets capabilities, particularly as regards the Brazilian market.
‘They look for solutions according to the company’s possibilities and options. They consider the overall strategy of the company.’
‘Diligent, professional, personalised attention and knowledgeable.’
‘Amy Dulin is always present in all the negotiations for the legal documentation in which we are participating or leading. We have easy access to her. She is well known in the LATAM market and has a lot of experience in different transactions in the region.‘
Republic of Paraguay
BAC Florida Bank
JP Morgan Chase
The Bank of Nova Scotia
Bank of America
- Represented the Republic of Paraguay in connection with its issuance of $500m of 5.4% bonds, due 2050.
- Served as lead legal advisor to the shareholders of BAC Florida Bank in the $500m sale of the Coral Gables-based bank to Brazil’s Banco Bradesco.
- Acted as counsel to Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, as administrative agent to the joint lead arrangers and joint bookrunners and a syndicate of 18 banks, in connection with a $3.25bn revolving credit and letter of credit facility for Brazilian oil giant Petroleo Brasileiro (Petrobras).
- Represented Citibank as lead arranger, lender and administrative agent for a $150m syndicated loan granted to subsidiaries of Costa Rica-based chemicals and raw materials distributor, GTM Holdings.
Latham & Watkins LLP is primarily known for energy and infrastructure finance, though its well-established Latin America team covers a range of financings, including acquisition and leveraged finance, trade and commodity finance, and hybrid financings. The Latin America group, which features a number of Latin American natives, along with fluent Spanish and Portuguese speakers, has remained active in syndicated financings, term loans and revolving credit facilities. Clients include a range of international lenders, corporate borrowers and private equity sponsors. It advised Credit Suisse on a multiple-tranche MXN$7.4bn syndicated financing for Grupo Gondi, the Mexico City-based paper packaging company; the deal was governed by New York law but denominated and funded in Mexican pesos. Co-chair of the Latin America practice Antonio Del Pino has a broad-based practice, which includes major financings and restructurings. Veronica Relea is highly rated for energy and infrastructure finance, along with leveraged financings. The firm also boasts a number of Latin America-facing experts in its growing Madrid office, which includes special adviser José María Aznar, the former Prime Minister of Spain. Former Washington DC partner David Penna has become vice president at US International Development Finance Corporation.
Compañía Operadora de Inversiones Mercantiles
The Bank of Nova Scotia
JP Morgan Chase
Infraestructura Energética Nova
Eagle Intermediate Global Holding
Shandong Ruyi Technology Group
The Lycra Company
Bain Capital Credit
Partners Group (Guernsey)
The Carlyle Group
Hellmann Worldwide Logistics
Royal Bank of Canada
SIG Combibloc PurchaseCo
- Represented IEnova on the amendment of a $1.5bn revolving credit facility.
- Advised Credit Suisse on a multiple-tranche MXN$7.4bn syndicated financing extended to Mexico City-based paper packaging company, Grupo Gondi, which was governed by New York law but denominated and funded in Mexican pesos.
- Represented The Bank of Nova Scotia in a financing in connection with the acquisition by ContourGlobal of two natural gas-fired combined heat and power plants
- Represented various global financial institutions on $7.1bn term loan and revolving credit facilities, concurrent with a $3.6bn senior bond offering, in connection with the acquisition by Brookfield Business Partners and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec of the Power Solutions business of Johnson Controls International.
Mayer Brown has an established practice in Latin America thanks in part to its sizeable presence in Brazil through Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown and its growing team in Mexico City, by which the firm is able to offer Brazil, Mexico and US law expertise on cross-border transactions. Advising a range of international banks and agency lenders, including major Latin America-based institutions, it is consistently recognised for its project finance, acquisition finance, structured finance and hybrid financing structure expertise. A case in point involved advising Apollo Global Management on a credit facility to Altum Capital through a special purpose vehicle, Lynx CP, the transaction involving the private securitization of a loan portfolio. The practice is making further inroads in fintech matters in Mexico, advising on a number of warehouse-financing facilities and representing Goldman Sachs in a structured secured revolving credit facility of up to $125m to Latin America-wide online trading site MercadoLibre. Chicago based Douglas Doetsch is a leader in securitisations, structured finance and debt exchange offers. New York's David Duffee is co-head of the global lending practice and is a key player in syndicated financing, including acquisition finance. Washington DC partner Gabriela Sakamoto is another key player in project finance, structured finance and acquisition finance in Latin America. New York and Washington DC partner Christopher Erckert and Chicago's Juan Pablo Moreno are also key members of the practice.
‘Professionalism and knowledge of capital markets laws. Document execution and speed.‘
‘24/7 attention to the client.‘
- Advised Apollo Global Management, as lender, in a $50m-plus credit facility granted to Altum Capital, through a special purpose vehicle (Lynx CP); the transaction involved the private securitization of a loan portfolio, held in a trust as collateral for the financing granted by Apollo; the trust will issue different tier notes to the benefit of Apollo and other noteholders as designated by Altum.
- Represented Goldman Sachs in the granting of a structured secured revolving credit facility of up to US$125m to online trading platform MercadoLibre, which operates across the Latin American region and allows businesses and individuals to list items and conduct sales and purchases in either a fixed-price or auction format.
- Represented Goldman Sachs in the granting of a structured secured revolving credit facility of up to $100m to Konfio, a Mexican originator of SME loans. The facility was secured by a portfolio of SME loans originated by Konfio.
- Represented the lender on a $145m loan facility for the construction and acquisition of a portfolio of solar projects in Chile, which will operate under Chile’s PMGD program.
Norton Rose Fulbright's outstanding Latin America banking and finance practice benefits from sound teams in New York, Washington DC, Sao Paulo and Mexico City. In 2019, the groups in Sao Paulo and Mexico City relocated to larger offices, illustrating the firm's growing presence in those jurisdictions and across Latin America as a whole. The firm is particularly noted for energy and infrastructure financings, structured trade finance and restructurings. It advises a range of agency lenders and DFIs, along with international banks, and government and corporate borrowers. Head of the Sao Paulo office, Charles Johnson is a hugely experienced Latin America specialist with an extensive record in structured trade finance and project financings; this includes many deals outside of Brazil. Sao Paulo's Daniel Spencer is another impressive project finance specialist with experience in multiple Latin America jurisdictions, including project bond transactions. Silvia Fazio, Michael McCourt and Alison Baxter provide further senior level gravitas to the potent Sao Paulo office. Washington DC's Sarah Devine and Jeremy Hushon are also key names for energy and infrastructure finance, particularly for agency lenders and DFIs; this includes a number of recent green loans and renewables sector financings. New York partner Raquel Bierzwinsky is also admitted to practice in Mexico and is a native Spanish speaker; much of her practice centres on Mexico energy, infrastructure and mining project financings.
‘The team is really well prepared and has a lot of expertise in the transactions that we work on together. The team looks to all details and doesn’t miss anything.‘
‘The banking and finance practice is highly technical, client focused and efficient. Their multi-jurisdictional capability makes cross-border transactions much easier.‘
‘Proactive, hands-on and capable team. Even though it is not their specialty, they are very familiar with the specificities of the Brazilian legal and business environment.‘
‘Michael McCourt is our main contact. His patience during the negotiations and capability to work around the issues and dead ends, while dealing with our clients, really stands out.‘
‘Michael McCourt is a real business partner of his clients. He is very accessible and pragmatic, without leaving aside the technical issues.‘
‘Charles Johnson and his team have a lot of experience in banking transactions and their contract drafting skills stand out when compared to other firms.‘
Banco del Estado de Chile
DFC (formerly OPIC)
Itapoá Terminais Portuários
Banco Rabobank International Brasil
BRK Ambiental Participações
Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO)
Société de Promotion et de Participation Pour la Coopération Economique (PROPARCO).
International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Banco Itau BBA
Corporacion Andina de Fomento
Banco Credit Suisse do Brasil
Banco ABN AMRO
Banco do Brasil
- Represented the lenders in relation to the (estimated) $850m Energía del Pacífico (EDP) gas-fired power plant and LNG import terminal project in Acajutla, El Salvador.
- Represented Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan on the 144A/Reg S bond issuance to refinance a portion of the existing bonds used to finance the construction of Line 2 Lima metro.
- Advised the sponsor BRK Ambiental on a reais-denominated IDB financing extended to BRK’s wastewater infrastructure project in Recife and Goiana in the North East of Brazil.
- Advised Vale in connection with the potential restructuring of the $4bn-plus debt of its joint venture company Samarco.
Paul Hastings LLP remains a powerful force in energy and infrastructure finance, as well as hybrid financings involving both conventional lending and capital markets fund raisings. The impressive core Latin America team is making an increasing impression with alternative lenders and credit funds, and continues to earn accolades for sustainability-linked finance, traditional leveraged finance, bridge loans and derivations of standard loans. Structured finance and mortgage-backed securities are other areas of strength for the department. While having a heavy emphasis on Mexico, the practice has broadened its geographic coverage in recent years; a growing Sao Paulo office will help to further this cause. The illustrious Michael Fitzgerald leads the Latin America practice and has a hugely impressive background in capital markets and traditional lending. Robert Kartheiser chairs the firms energy and infrastructure practice, has a principal focus on Latin America, and is frequently praised for his ability to work in both Spanish and Portuguese. Cathleen McLaughlin is a pivotal figure for hybrid financings involving both capital markets and conventional lending; this includes Section 4(a)(2) private placements. Joy Gallup has a bank-lending background and is noted for structured-products engagements. Similarly, Elicia Ling is an up and coming name with a background in bank lending and is making an impression in energy and infrastructure finance; she works in both Portuguese and Spanish. Thomas Sines impresses at senior associate level.
Global Infrastructure Partners
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
- Represented Santander, as administrative agent and a lead arranger, BBVA Bancomer as sustainability agent and a lead arranger, and nine other international banks in a $1.1bn sustainability-linked revolving credit agreement entered into by Fibra Uno.
- Represented a syndicate of lenders in financing the development, construction and operation of the 4G road Autopista al Mar 2 in Colombia, which connects Medellín to the Caribbean coast.
- Advised HSBC, as administrative agent and lead arranger, and a syndicate of lenders, on negotiating an extended revolving credit facility for Mexican media and telecommunications company, Televisa.
- Advised BBVA Bancomer, as administrative agent and global coordinator, and the lenders, in connection with a $500m senior unsecured term loan agreement entered into by Iberdrola Generación México.
Proskauer Rose LLP's Latin America practice has a sizeable emphasis on banking and finance transactions. Much of this is centred in Sao Paulo where it has several senior banking and finance specialists covering pre-export finance, acquisition finance, project finance, syndicated term and revolving loans, hedging and derivatives, along with other financing products. It has close connections to a wide range of lenders, including Brazil-based and other Latin American banks. The Latin American team has also worked with a number of regional corporates, including those that have carried out major restructuring exercises. New York-based head of the Latin America practice Carlos Martinez is a multi-talented individual with deep experience in the region, including large corporate restructurings and cross-border financings. Head of the Sao Paulo office Antonio Piccirillo is a recognised banking and finance specialist, notably pre-export finance, syndicated loans, project finance, debt restructurings and securitizations. David Fenwick is also rated for pre-export and trade finance, and syndicated loans; he recently advised Itau Unibanco on its $100m term loan facility agreement with Standard Chartered and Wells Fargo, the first ever syndicated loan financing in Latin America structured on blockchain technology. Fabio Yamada is another prominent figure in pre-export and trade finance, along with restructurings and syndicated loans.
‘Hands on team with involvement of the senior partner since the beginning until closing of the transactions, with deep knowledge of banking products.‘
‘Deep knowledge of banking products and knowledge of Brazilian peculiarities.’
Banco do Brasil
Assured Risk Transfer
Banco GNB Sudameris
Holding Company of Latin American financial group
Frontera Energy Corp
Puerto Rico Oversight Board
Companhia Energética de Pernambuco – CELPE
Companhia de Eletricidade do Estado da Bahia
Bank of China
Caixa Economica Federal
Banco ABN Amro
- Represented Gilinski Holdings on a $100m senior secured loan provided by Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior.
- Represented Grupo Salinas in two rounds of capitalization for the OneWeb global communications project, consisting of debt issued by OneWeb Communications and warrants issued by OneWeb Global.
- Advised Log-In on a project financing for its port facility in Vila Velha, Espírito Santo, Brazil, to be provided by Interamericana Investment Corporation (CIFI).
- Represented specialty finance company Assured Risk Transfer in a $46m secured loan facility for CECSA, a Mexican infrastructure support provider (backed by Pemex receivables).
Sitting largely in its New York and Sao Paulo offices, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP's core Latin America team is a multi-talented group that counts a range of international lenders and major Latin American corporate borrowers as clients. It also advises a number of private equity sponsors on debt financing. Key areas of expertise include syndicated loans, syndicated acquisition financings, structured export financings, securitizations, project financing and restructuring transactions, qhile Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Peru and Colombia constitute its primary markets. Founder of the Latin America practice, David Williams is a versatile practitioner with genuine financing pedigree, notably in the syndicated loans and acquisition finance field; he continues to be highlighted for his experience in Chile and Argentina. Jaime Mercado, who splits his time between New York and Sao Paulo, is another key figure on equity and debt financings and restructurings; he recently advised JP Morgan Chase Bank and Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior as joint lead arrangers on the acquisition financing for Imperia Intercontinental's acquisition of Scotiabank’s banking and insurance business in El Salvador. Juan Francisco Méndez is another senior figure with an extensive record across the region, while Juan Naveira is an emerging talent, as is Ismael Duran at counsel level.
Bank of America
BRF – Brasil Foods
Celulosa Arauco y Constitución
Compañía de Petróleos de Chile (Copec)
Empresa Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (Entel)
FIBRA Macquarie México
Pan American Energy
Vista Oil & Gas
- Represented JP Morgan Chase Bank and Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior, as joint lead arrangers, in connection with the acquisition financing for Imperia Intercontinental’s acquisition of Scotiabank’s banking and insurance business in El Salvador, including Scotiabank El Salvador and Scotia Seguros.
- Represented Dominican construction company Ingeniería Estrella, and its affiliates Dominicana Coöperatief and Estrella Energy, in connection with a $125m credit facility arranged by Citibank.
- Represented the lenders in connection with Central Puerto’s syndicated loan of $180m used to fund its purchase of the Brigadier López plant from Argentine state entity, IEASA.
- Represented Hokchi Energy in connection with term loans of up to $290m.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP's longstanding commitment to Latin America, including through its New York and Sao Paulo offices, has afforded it a steady and impressive pipeline of banking and finance engagements from both lender and corporate borrower clients. The firm is active in all the major economies of Latin America and has additional experience in a number of lesser-known markets; acquisition finance and general corporate loans are particular areas of expertise. In 2019, the firm acted as New York counsel to JP Morgan Chase Bank, Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior, and Banistmo (as joint lead arrangers and joint bookrunners) and a syndicate of lenders in a $130m senior secured credit facility to Banco Aliado (Panama); the proceeds were used to finance a portion of the acquisition of Banco Panamá. New York partner Alejandro González Lazzeri is a prolific adviser on big-ticket financings throughout Latin America, particularly in Mexico where he is admitted to practice.
HSBC Securities (USA)
Bancaribe Curaçao and AIB Bank
Bank of America Securities
BTG MB Investments
Citigroup Global Markets
JP Morgan Chase
- Represented JP Morgan Chase Bank, Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior and Banistmo as joint lead arrangers and joint bookrunners, and a syndicate of lenders, as New York counsel in a $130m senior secured credit facility to Banco Aliado (Panama); the proceeds were used to finance a portion of the acquisition of Banco Panamá.
- Advised the joint lead arrangers and joint bookrunners in a senior unsecured $1.5bn revolving credit facility extended to Mexichem.
- Advised Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith as sole lead arranger and sole bookrunner in a $300m senior credit facility for major Mexican mining group Industrias Peñoles.
- Assisted Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith and HSBC Securities as joint lead arrangers and joint bookrunners on a senior dual-currency $200m and MXP$1.8bn revolving credit facility to Mexican holding company, Grupo Kuo.
Arnold & Porter continues to be recognised for its standing in bank regulatory matters, along with structured finance, securitisation and derivatives. Its connections to prominent members of the banking and finance community, stem in part from its history in sovereign debt restructuring where it has worked with a multitude of ministries of finance and central banks. The firm represents a wide range of Latin American financial institutions along with the Latin American arms of international banks and also advises a large number of sovereign states and state-owned enterprises. It remains closely associated with distressed debt, infrastructure finance and financings led by agency lenders and DFIs; and is also frequently engaged on regulatory matters linked to licensing issues and acquisitions of US-based financial institutions. Whitney Debevoise has a close association with Brazil, including major banks there, along with El Salvador, Panama and Honduras; he has an excellent record in sovereign and corporate debt restructurings, structured finance and derivatives transactions. Gregory Harrington is also recognised for his Brazil experience and has close relationships with Brazilian banks and the Brazilian arms of international banks; in addition, he is noted for SEC reporting matters. Beyond Brazil, he represented Camposol (Peru) in a $200m senior secured term loan facility from Banco Santander and Coöperatieve Rabobank. Senior counsel Neil Goodman has wide ranging experience in Latin America, covering both capital markets and debt financing transactions; he frequently advises a number of sovereign states.
Banco Aliado (Panama)
Banco ABC Brasil
Banco do Brasil
Central Bank of Brazil (Banco Central do Brasil)
Banco Credit Suisse (Brazil)
Banco de Costa Rica
Banco de Credito del Peru
BICSA (Banco International de Costa Rica) (Panama)
Banco Votorantim (Brazil)
Barbados Creditors Committee
China Construction Bank (Brasil)
Republic of El Salvador
Electricity Transmission Company of Panama (ETESA)
Republic of Honduras
Grupo Energia de Bogota
Itau BBA & Banco Itau (Brazil)
Republic of Panama
- Represented Camposol in a senior secured term loan facility from Banco Santander and Coöperatieve Rabobank.
- Advised Banco Nacional de Costa Rica on its tender offer to repurchase up to $150m of its 5.875% notes, due 2021.
- Advised the Central Bank of Brazil in regard to MSFTA, GMRA, and swap transactions.
Dechert LLP's relatively small Latin America has an elevated status thanks in large part to the multifaceted expertise and reputation of Howard Kleinman who has over 20 years' experience in the region. Moreover, the firm has leveraged its leading financial restructuring standing, with Allan Brilliant, in particular, building an outstanding record in bondholder restructurings in Latin America, notably in Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Puerto Rico; he and his team represent ad hoc and official committees of creditors, lenders and noteholders. Brilliant led the team that represented Peaje Investments, the largest holder of unwrapped special revenue bonds issued by the Puerto Rico Highways & Transportation Authority, in connection with the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico’s debt restructuring, including related litigation. He also acted for Citadel in connection with the restructuring of Colombian airline Avianca Holdings. The wider team's client base also includes major Latin American businesses, multinationals and private equity houses.
Ad hoc group of bondholders of Gildermeister
Alden Global Capital
Argentem Creek Partners
Cinépolis de México
Inversiones Santa Teresita
- Represented Peaje Investments, the largest holder of unwrapped special revenue bonds issued by the Puerto Rico Highways & Transportation Authority (PRHTA), in all aspects of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico’s debt restructuring, including related litigation.
- Advised Alden Global Capital and certain of its managed entities, as the largest creditor and shareholder of Payless Holdings and certain of its affiliates, in connection with the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding currently pending before the US Bankruptcy Court, as well as in connection with Alden’s loan to a non-debtor subsidiary incorporated in the British Virgin Islands.
- Represented Citadel in connection with the restructuring of Colombian airline Avianca Holdings.
DLA Piper LLP (US) has a relatively unique Latin America practice with a growing number of offices within the region and an expanding group based in the US. It also has a sizeable Puerto Rico office, which features several senior New York-qualified lawyers with a significant focus on banking and finance. Team growth in Miami and Mexico City has been complemented by new offices in Peru, Chile, Argentina, Colombia and the practice continues to benefit from its close association with Campos Mello Advogados in cooperation with DLA Piper in Brazil. The Latin America banking and finance team is particularly prominent in energy and infrastructure finance, syndicated lending, structured finance and securitisation, and debt restructuring. It represents a large number of international lenders and Latin American corporate borrowers. New York partner William Candelaria is a senior figure in financing and restructuring, particularly in Mexico; he recently advised Mexican EPC company, Arendal, on the financial restructuring of its outstanding debts. Gregory Smith and Amala Nath are key names in Washington DC, where they represent a number of agency lenders and DFIs on headline financings in Latin America - particularly in the renewable energy and infrastructure fields; this has included advising regular client IDB Invest on the financing for the deployment of the Mexican Government-sponsored Red Compartida public-private partnership. José Sosa-Lloréns is the principal figure in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he is noted for bank regulatory matters and big-ticket financings. Former Miami partner John Murphy departed for Baker McKenzie LLP in February 2020; however, since publication Margarita Oliva Sainz de Aja has moved in the opposite direction, joining the firm's New York office in December 2020.
‘Excellent team and very productive. They have been able to solve all the issues that we have presented to them and with logical and practical solutions.’
‘The advantage of DLA Piper graduates is that they each have a specialty in something and can solve problems quickly through extensive knowledge and experience in the field.‘
‘Excellent understanding and agility with complex bond and federal financing structures as well as local tax and incentives for Puerto Rico.‘
‘Proactive and solution oriented, supportive of clients and creative problem solvers.‘
‘José Sosa-Lloréns is a trustworthy and loyal counsel.‘
Standard Chartered Bank
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Banco do Brasil
Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior (Bancomext)
Exto International Investment
Greenberg Traurig LLP's longstanding connections to Latin America emanate from a Miami office strongly oriented towards the region, complemented by New York and Houston colleagues and a substantial Mexico City office. The firm is particularly noted for its record in Mexico and Central America, though it is also gaining ground in South America, including in Brazil. Among a number of landmark deals, the firm advised Industrial and Commercial Bank of China on a substantial syndicated revolving credit facility extended to Mexican REIT Fibra Uno; the first voluntarily sustainable transaction by a real estate company in the region and the first syndicated transaction to comply with the Sustainability-Linked Loan Principles in Latin America. The multi-cultural and multi-lingual team features Miami partner Emilio Alvarez-Farré , a notable figure in financial restructurings and syndicated lending in Mexico; he recently advised Mexican paper producer Bio Pappel on a $352m senior secured syndicated term loan facility to refinance the company’s dollar and peso denominated debt. New York partner and co-head of the Latin America team Marc Rossell has extensive experience in capital markets and structured financings; the arrival of Oscar Stephens from Hogan Lovells US LLP has added to the New York office's Latin America financing capabilities.
‘We have enjoyed working with the firm. They have deep knowledge of the market, and are truly strategic. Their diverse team makes them exceptional. They are truly dedicated, great service and know the business.‘
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC)
Oppenheimer & Co
- Represented Mexican paper producer Bio Pappel, as borrower, in a $352m senior secured syndicated term loan facility granted by Credit Suisse; the proceeds will be used to refinance the company’s dollar and peso denominated debt.
- Represented the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, as one of the lenders, in a MX$21.35bn syndicated revolving credit facility to Mexican real estate investment trust (REIT), Fibra Uno (FUNO); the transaction represents the first voluntarily sustainable transaction by a real estate company in the region and is the first syndicated transaction to comply with the Sustainability-Linked Loan Principles in Latin America.
- Represented Oppenheimer & Co as initial purchaser and sole bookrunner on the US$100m note offering by Paraguayan beef processing company Frigorífico Concepción.
Herbert Smith Freehills
Herbert Smith Freehills is especially active in oil and gas sector financings, especially bespoke financings for the exploration and production segment in Brazil. This includes distressed asset-related financings and acquisition financings, notably portfolio acquisitions. Moreover, the firm has a substantial market share of reserve-based lending transactions in Brazil - this specialty being a real forte of the firm globally. It advised Trident Energy on its financing and acquisition of the Pampo and Enchova clusters from Petrobras, involving a reserve-based lending facility – the first of its kind in the country. It also advised the lenders to Karoon Gas on the financing of its acquisition of Brazilian oil and gas assets from Petrobras. London's Pedro Rufino Carvalho was promoted to partner in May 2019, becoming co-head of the Latin America group in April 2020; he is making an impression in Brazil oil and gas financings, including reserve-based lending and acquisition financings. New York partner Edward Dougherty is also recognised for oil and gas financings in Brazil and elsewhere in Latin America.
‘The team is business oriented, articulate, delivers an easy communication flow and, most important I think, they are always available.‘
‘Working with Pedro Rufino Carvalho and Edward Dougherty is always a pleasure, since they bring to you a solution step by step without losing the focus on the main goal.‘
ING and Syndicate Lenders
- Advised Trident Energy on the $650m first-of-a-kind financing and acquisition of Brazilian oil and gas assets from Petrobras.
- Acted for Petro Rio in connection with a $225m secured export prepayment financing related to the company’s offshore-Brazil oil and gas exploration and production activities.
- Acted for Brazilian client Ocyan on a strategically important M&A process for the disposal of its pipe-laying support vessels (PLSVs).
Hogan Lovells US LLP has a fine record in sovereign, quasi-sovereign and SOE financings, along with energy and infrastructure financings. Ecuador and Central America are its primary markets, although Venezuela was a key jurisdiction prior to its recent economic and socio-political crisis. Over the years, the firm has impressed in financings led by Asian lenders. The firm's Miami and Houston offices maintain close links to Latin America, particularly in renewable energy and oil and gas projects. Miami partner and co-head of the Latin America practice José Valdivia is hugely experienced and continues to make an impression in renewable energy and infrastructure project financings. Houston partner and co-head of the team Bruno Ciuffetelli is admitted to practice in Venezuela, although he is active across Latin America in oil and gas and infrastructure financings, including pre-payment facilities and financings provided by Asian lenders.
Holland & Knight LLP has made its mark in infrastructure finance, syndicated loans, acquisition finance and structured finance. The firm is also at the forefront of asset financing for Latin American airlines and multinational aircraft finance and leasing companies. It has a substantial team of Latin America-facing lawyers in New York and Miami, along with growing offices in Mexico City and Colombia. This commitment to the region has landed it a string of headline engagements, including advising Fibra UNO, Mexico's largest REIT, on a $1bn dual-tranche (US dollar and Mexican Peso) five-year sustainable revolving credit agreement. Stephen Double has rich Latin America pedigree in corporate finance, structured finance and securitisation; he has a long track record with Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior (Bladex). Norberto Quintana splits his time between New York and Miami and continues to be highlighted for his expertise in infrastructure finance, notably in Colombia's 4G toll road programme. Peter Baumgaertner has significantly boosted the practice since joining from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP in February 2019, advising on a series of headline acquisition financings, project financings and restructurings. Phillip Durham is a leading figure in Latin America aviation finance, while Guillermo Uribe is a key name in Mexico City. Laura Güemes Cambras impresses at associate level. All named individuals are based in New York unless stated.
‘The firm has excellent knowledge of the legal and business environment. They keep us informed of changes that may be taking place in our sector and introduce us to players with whom we can establish new relationships. They are our main advisers and we trust their opinion.‘
‘Norberto Quintana’s experience in project finance has been very useful to us. He and his team are very responsible and show great experience on the subject.‘
‘Steve Double has a very complete vision of both the requirements of New York law as well as the environment in which companies with operations in Latin America operate.’
‘Steve Double is tireless, responds quickly, has a good international business outlook, and is good at dealing with difficult personalities. Laura Guemes is equally dedicated. She takes care of the most minute details, and coordinates the different parties very well.‘
Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN)
Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior (Bladex)
Generadora de Energía del Peru
ASR Group and its subsidiary Belize Sugar Industries (BSI)
CCR Group (Brazil and USA)
- Advised Fibra Uno in connection with a $1bn dual-tranche five-year sustainable revolving credit agreement.
- Represented Belize Sugar Industries in its financing of up to $15m to increase its production and exports.
- Represented Wells Fargo Bank on a $100m three-year senior unsecured syndicated loan.
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP's broad-based Latin America is primarily based in Miami, Washington DC and Houston. The firm is noted for energy and infrastructure financings, bank regulatory work and financial institutions M&A. The firm's Washington DC office has a close connection to IDB Invest, providing it with a steady flow of financing engagements in Latin America. It also represents a number of other prominent MLAs and DFIs. Head of the Latin America practice Fernando Alonso is hugely experienced and versatile, with rich pedigree in bank M&A and project finance. Fernando Margarit is a leader in infrastructure finance, particularly subsea fibre optic cable systems. Uriel Mendieta is further noted for structured finance and project finance. In Washington DC Vera Rechsteiner is an experienced figure in energy, infrastructure, oil and gas financings, often representing key client IDB Invest. Houston's Doris Rodríguez is also recognised for oil and gas financings; she is a Mexico native and Spanish speaker. Named individuals are based in Miami unless stated otherwise.
‘This practice is unique because the partner and his associates are highly knowledgeable of our bank and its products, but more importantly they know our region and specific markets conditions.‘
‘Multidisciplinary Miami office with highly qualified lawyers in banking, financial, tax and corporate law. Great availability and responsiveness to projects of various kinds, close support from senior partners who are very involved in managing the issues.‘
‘Fernando Margarit is my main and close contact, and he is always available and we can resolve many issues on a simple phone call.‘
‘Fernando Alonso and Fernando Margarit are great lawyers, senior partners at the firm with an incredible vast knowledge of financial and corporate transactions in the US and Latin America. They are well respected and offer terrific advice in all types of transactions from the legal, regulatory, tax and commercial sides.‘
‘Vera Reichstainer is the team leader and is a lawyer with many years of experience and is very versatile, with great prestige in the market.‘
Inter-American Investment Corporation / IDB Invest
Wartsila Development and Financial Services
Promerica Financial Corporation
Banco de la Producción (Produbanco)
Banco Internacional de Costa Rica
Corporacion Interamericana para el Financiamiento de Infraestructura
Sucro Can Sourcing / SC Americas
- Represented Banesco (Panama), in connection with a $150m covered loan structured financing from Credit Suisse, secured through a portfolio of residential mortgage loans.
- Represented Banco de la Producción (Produbanco), as borrower, in connection with a bilateral loan from International Finance Corporation (IFC); aggregate amount $80m.
- Represented Banco Sabadell in connection with a $190m syndicated mortgage loan to refinance Secrets and Breathless Resorts in Jamaica.
Jones Day has a healthy team of Latin America-focused banking and finance practitioners, primarily located in New York and Miami, with additional support from colleagues in Mexico City and Sao Paulo. The group is widely recognised for its record in acquisition finance, syndicated loans and project finance. Much of the practice centres on Latin American borrowers and sponsors, though the firm does have strong lender relationships, including with IDB. The firm is also active with European sponsors that have interests in Latin America. New York partners Robert da Silva Ashley and James Salerno are key names for Latin America corporate finance, while Miami's Fradyn Suárez and Richard Puttré are prominent figures in the project finance field. Alberto De La Parra in Mexico City is hugely experienced, including in infrastructure finance.
Inter-American Investment Corporation
Bank of America
Herdoiza Crespo Construcciones
- Advised ENGIE on itsUS $8.6bn acquisition and related financing of 90% of Transportadora Associada de Gás (TAG) from Petróleo Brasileiro (Petrobras).
- Represented Sacyr and Herdoiza Crespo Construcciones as sponsors in connection with the long-term project financing for the Rumichaca-Pasto road project in Colombia (under the 4G infrastructure program).
- Advised Grupo Kuo on two financings totalling $475m, including a $300m multi-draw revolving loan financing comprised of a US dollar tranche and a Mexican Peso tranche provided by a syndicate of major financial institutions.
Syndicated lending, acquisition finance, refinancing, restructurings and securitisations among the key areas of expertise of the well-rounded team at Linklaters LLP which has a strong historical focus on Brazil and Argentina. The Latin America finance practice was further bolstered by the 2020 hire of counsel Alejandro Gordano, whose prior experience includes time in house at Credit Suisse and a decade at Shearman & Sterling LLP. Michael Bassett is an experienced banking and finance practitioner who covers a range of financings and jurisdictions, including offshore Brazil oil and gas deals. Matthew Poulter covers both capital markets and financings and has a particularly strong record in Brazil. Co-head of the Latin America team Conrado Tenaglia is noted for Argentina and Southern Cone financings and restructurings, while Andrew Compton is recommended for energy and infrastructure financings. All named individuals are based in New York, with Poulter also spending time in Sao Paulo.
‘Linklaters has a well developed banking and finance team. They have a deep and thorough knowledge of Latin America and the team produces high-quality drafts and is very responsive to client needs.‘
‘I have worked with Conrado Tenaglia and Andrew Compton on more than one matter. Both are outstanding lawyers with deep knowledge of the industry. Andrew is hands-on, very reliable and focused.‘
‘Conrado Tenaglia is a very experienced practitioner, widely acknowledged, dedicated and with excellent interpersonal skills. He works very hard and is always trying to provide solutions to client needs, offering clear alternatives.‘
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP remains a prominent player in bilateral and syndicated loans in Brazil, along with having a potent bondholder debt restructuring practice in Latin America. Private placement-driven financings are another growing element of the practice. It represents major banks such as HSBC in lending transactions, insurance companies in private placement financings (particularly in Mexico), and creditors in restructuring transactions. New clients include Cerberus Capital Management and Credit Suisse. It recently advised Cerberus and JP Morgan Chase on a structured financing investment for payroll-lender Bayport Colombia. Co-chair of the Latin America practice Thomas Mellor is noted for bank lending and restructurings; he has a long history with HSBC. Timothy DeSieno is a leading name in sovereign debt financings and restructurings, often representing the creditors. Hartford partner Daniel Papermaster is the key figure for private placement financings. Houston's Felipe Alice is noted for Brazil financings and restructurings, and previously practised as a local lawyer in the jurisdiction.
‘The team is very knowledgeable, focused, experienced and has very good interpersonal skills.‘
‘The lawyers involved are very experienced and knowledgeable of Brazil. This helps them to navigate between two different systems (civil law and common law).‘
‘Thomas Mellor is an expert in the field and has a lot of experience in dealing with multi-jurisdictional transactions. He knows the market and the region. He is always available and doesn’t crack under pressure.‘
‘Thomas Mellor is very experienced and has a deep knowledge of Brazilian law. He has the mental flexibility to adapt his US common law mind to the Brazilian civil law system. And this is quite unique.‘
HSBC (US, Mexico, Brazil, UK and Bermuda)
National Bank of Kuwait
Bank of America
Cerberus Capital Management
- Represented Cerberus and JP Morgan Chase Bank in connection with a $150m structured financing investment for payroll lender Bayport Colombia.
- Represented Cooke Incorporated in the financing of the acquisitions of Seajoy Seafood Corp (a shrimp farming business in Honduras and Nicaragua), and Farallon Aquaculture (a larval rearing and shrimp farming business in Nicaragua).
- Represented Prudential in its purchase of $75m of senior secured notes of Softek Integration Systems.
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP has an illustrious Latin America practice that is closely associated with big-ticket and landmark deals. The relatively lean team does not have the volume of deals that other rivals boast, but this is no reflection on the status and quality of the group. The firm has a history in headline project financings, and is also highly rated for sovereign and corporate restructurings. New York partners Sergio Galvis and Christopher Mann are major players, the latter recently advising Canadian metals and mining company, Teck Resources, on a $2.5bn limited recourse project financing facility for subsidiary Compañía Minera Teck Quebrada Blanca to fund the development of the second phase of its Quebrada Blanca project in northern Chile.
Baker McKenzie LLP
Baker McKenzie LLP advises a range of international and Latin American lenders and borrowers. It has established senior banking and finance practitioners across many of its Latin America offices, including in Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Bogota and Lima. The practice centres on multiple financing structures, including syndicated loans, refinancings and acquisition financings. It advised Banorte on the refinancing of a $90m loan for the construction of Cross Border Xpress, the enclosed pedestrian bridge for Tijuana Airport, exclusively for passengers crossing over the US/Mexico border. Gabriel Gomez Giglio leads the Latin America banking and finance practice from Buenos Aires. Sao Paulo partner Luis Ambrósio covers a range of financings from syndicated lending to acquisition financing and infrastructure finance. Lima partner Juan Carlos de los Heros Echecopar and Mexico City's Maria Casas-Lopez are also senior figures. Experienced finance partner John Murphy joined the Miami office from DLA Piper LLP (US) in February 2020; however, since publication, New York-based head of the Latin American finance practice, Margarita Oliva Sainz de Aja has moved in the opposite direction, joining DLA Piper LLP (US)'s New York office in December 2020.
‘Baker McKenzie has unique and multi-disciplinary expertise in international business, where thorough and detailed knowledge of the regulations of different countries is needed at the same time. The fact that they have experienced and business-oriented professionals in many countries is key for us.‘
‘The practice is very focused on banking and finance, which enables the lawyers to know specifically how banks work and what type of issues are important for them. We were able to anticipate many issues that helped us a lot in our transactions.‘
‘María Casas López and Gabriel Gómez Giglio are not only business-oriented professionals, they are also capable of providing precise advice with short and to the point answers. This is crucial for us and our business.‘
Korea Development Bank
Central American Bank for Economic Integration
Bonus Banca de Inversión
Canadian Imperial Bank
Farallon Capital Management
Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior (BANCOMEXT)
- Advised the client on the refinancing of a $90m loan which will be used for the construction of Cross Border Xpress, an enclosed pedestrian bridge for Tijuana Airport (TIJ) passengers crossing the US/Mexico border.
- Advised Phoenix Tower Participações, as borrower, on an up to BRL75m credit facility from International Finance Corporation (IFC).
CMS's spread of Latin America offices in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile provides it with a healthy flow of banking and finance engagements. While local teams work closely with colleagues in Europe and other regions, they are also close to a number of US-based law firms. The broader team remains active in corporate finance, including financings involving DFIs, and has a strong background in fintech and bank regulatory matters. Daniel Rodríguez is a key name covering structured, project and corporate finance.
Banco Santander (Spain)
Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
Interamerican Investment Corporation (IIC)
Grupo Progreso / Unión de Crédito Progreso
Institución de Banca Múltiple
- Advising PetroRio on several financing matters related to its oil and gas business in Brazil.
- Advised Solarpack on the $100m financing transaction for the construction and development of the La Granja photovoltaic project.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP remains best known for infrastructure financings across Latin America. It recently advised Colombian port operator Compañía de Puertos Asociados on its $165m refinancing to fund capital expenditures and for general corporate purposes. Corporate finance and acquisition finance are also fortes of the Latin America group, which benefits from the firm's leading position in compliance and investigations. Tomer Pinkusiewicz is the key partner for infrastructure finance.
- Advised Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners II on the sale of an interest in Autopistas Metropolitanas de Puerto Rico.
- Advising Compañía de Puertos Asociados regarding a$165m credit facility.
Sidley Austin LLP
Sidley Austin LLP has longstanding connections to Latin America and an extensive record in structured finance and securitisation transactions linked to the region. It is also prominent in energy and infrastructure finance, thanks in part to the presence of several Latin America experts in its Houston office. Carlos Rodriguez is an experienced figure in structured finance and securitisation, including securitisations of residential and commercial mortgage loans, credit card receivables and trade receivables. Houston partners Brian Bradshaw and David Asmus are noted for financings in the oil and gas sector.
Uría Menéndez has a unique Latin America platform through its association with Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría, the prominent Latin America firm based in Colombia, Chile and Peru. This is supplemented by a Brazil desk operated by the two firms and the Spanish giant's leading Cuba desk in Madrid. The firm has remained notably active in Latin America restructurings and acquisitions of non-performing loans (NPLs), with further growth in corporate finance, structured finance, and acquisition and leveraged financings. The firm advised Banco Santander and JP Morgan Chase Bank on the Spanish law aspects of a bridge loan to the concessionaire of the 4G Pasto–Rumichaca highway project in Colombia. Eduardo Rodríguez-Rovira is noted for financial restructurings and bank regulatory matters, while Ángel Pérez López is an experienced acquisition finance and project finance specialist. Both are based in Madrid.
‘The knowledge, quality of the work, profound understanding of the client’s requirements together with the service given by Uria’s lawyers, makes it undoubtedly the preferred partner for my company.‘
‘Their capability to cover all different angles of one single transaction, ranging from finance, labour, competition, regulatory, tax, etc, makes them outstanding.‘
‘Ángel Pérez López’s know-how, experience and attention to detail together with his devoted service and loyalty, makes him the ideal lawyer to trust when you have to deal with complex transactions.‘
Royal Bank of Canada
JP Morgan Chase
- Advised Royal Bank of Canada on the granting of a $360m credit facility to certain entities of MRO Group via a New York law-governed term loan credit agreement, as well as granting of guaranty and security package by borrowers and guarantors.
- Advised Banco Santander on designing and formalizing a bridge project finance facility granted to Abengoa subsidiary Abent 3T by Santander España (25%), Santander Mexico (25%) and Banco Inbursa (50%), for the purposes of refinancing a 220MW co-generation plant.
Winston & Strawn LLP is primarily known for energy and infrastructure finance through a core team of senior practitioners, namely Allen Miller, Talbert Navia and Claude Serfilippi. The group boasts a number of major Latin American borrowers among its clients, along with several international lenders. Much of the team's practice centres on Colombia, Peru, Chile and Argentina. Recent matters saw a group led by Claude Serfilippi advise Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation on a loan to Latin America Power Peru to repay existing debts; the client owns Empresa de Generación Eléctrica de Junín and Hidroeléctrica Santa Cruz, which operate hydroelectric power plants in the Junín, Ancash and Callao provinces in Peru. Since publication the firm has hired Rodrigo Carvalho as a member of the Latin America group of it's New York office (effective, May 2021); previously head of the legal division of Bank of America’s investment banking department in Sao Paulo, he will also assist with the firm's establishment of an affiliated foreign legal consultancy in Brazil.
Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile (SQM)
Enel Generación Chile
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
- Advised Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation on its $137m loan to Latin America Power Peru (LAP), to repay existing debt to Banco BTG Pactual, Banco Internacional del Perú, CAF and Cofide.
- Advised EPM on the $900m financing of the construction of the Ituango Hydroelectric project in Medellín, Colombia.