Capital markets in Latin America: International firms

Capital markets transactions were buoyant in 2020 and through into 2021. Despite the economic volatility caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, many Latin American businesses turned to the capital markets to raise funding for growth or to address financial constraints. Brazil was a particular bright spot for international law firms with a steady pipeline of initial public offerings (IPOs) and other equity offerings. Elsewhere, liability management transactions continue to be a steady source of engagements, along with project bonds and high-yield debt. Again, a number of sovereign states accessed the bond markets to raise capital to address the pandemic.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton continues to set the highest standard in Latin America capital markets transactions, noted for its breadth of geographic coverage and its record in significant, market-first, innovative and especially complex transactions. Liability management and restructuring-related transactions were understandably prevalent for the team in 2020, along with a noticeable upswing in Brazil equity and debt deals. The firm also impresses in sovereign and sub-sovereign transactions that bring new technologies and structures to the Latin America market, including liability management-type deals. Sovereign debt restructurings for the likes of Argentina and Ecuador, are another feature of the leading practice. Moreover, it is at the forefront of sustainability-linked issuances, ESG-related offerings and the emergence of SPACs. Although Mexico deal volumes decreased in 2020, the Latin America group remained active in high-yield debt and liability management deals in a jurisdiction that has been a core part of the practice over the years. The Latin America group is awash with senior level capital markets talent, including Nicolas Grabar and Francesca Odell who frequently advise on headline offerings from Brazil and Mexico. Buenos Aires partner Andrés De La Cruz is a leader in sovereign issuances and liability management transactions in Argentina and the Southern Cone. Jorge Juantorena is prominent in Mexico deals and other jurisdictions, while Juan Giráldez  and Francisco Cestero are key names in Sao Paulo. Manuel Silva is an up-and-coming partner, while Sao Paulo counsel Jonathan Mendes de Oliveira and Buenos Aires counsel Emilio Minvielle are also key team members.

Testimonials

‘Cleary maintains the deepest bench of talent in capital markets, sovereign and corporate restructuring. They are our go-to firm for anything complicated and innovative, as their team always does an excellent job at being commercial but balanced in their advice. Cleary sets itself apart by bringing a wealth of experience and structural knowledge at the partner level, combined with a very deep and up and coming bench of associates. We have tremendous confidence in Francesca O’Dell, Manuel Silva, David Lopez, and Juan Giráldez.’

‘We always receive an excellent service, because the internal communication of the firm keeps everyone involved and updated while they delve into the study of the particular case. We always have an expert on the subject that makes us feel comfortable, safe and of course very well advised.’

‘The personal relationship that is generated by those who advise us is warm, kind and friendly.’

‘Their timely responses, approach, language proficiency and capacity to bring together an outstanding team of professionals that are always available whenever we need, is what makes the difference.’

Key clients

Suzano

Republic of Argentina

Citigroup Global Markets

Petróleo Brasileiro

Vale

United Mexican States (Mexico)

Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX)

BR Properties

Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (BNDES)

Dominican Republic

Federative Republic of Brazil

Republic of Chile

Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (Codelco)

Fomento Económico Mexicano

Coca-Cola FEMSA

América Móvil

Republic of Uruguay

Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE)

Fresnillo

Banco del Estado de Chile

Industrias Peñoles

Nexa Resources and Nexa Resources Perú

Work highlights

  • Advised the Republic of Argentina on its successful restructuring of approximately $63.4bn in its outstanding foreign-law governed debt.
  • Represented Vale in a $1.5bn SEC-registered global notes offering.
  • Represented the United Mexican States (Mexico) in a $6bn offering of three new benchmark bonds.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is at the forefront of Latin America SEC-registered and Reg S/144A offerings. It has an especially stellar record in big-ticket Brazilian IPOs, including many of the largest deals in the jurisdiction's history. Although the firm has experienced high-levels of equity engagements from Brazilian issuers, it is active throughout the region, especially in high-yield debt and other debt offerings. Chile and Colombia are also key markets for the Latin America capital markets team, which is primarily based in New York and Sao Paulo. More recently, it has achieved further growth in Nasdaq IPOs by Brazilian tech issuers, including FinTech businesses. Sao Paulo and New York-based head of the Latin America practice group Manuel Garciadiaz is a giant of the capital markets space, particularly Brazil equity offerings, though he has fine record across the region. Maurice Blanco also splits his time between Sao Paulo and New York, has strong connections to key underwriter banks, and is co-head of the global capital markets practice. Nicholas Kronfeld frequently represents Banco Santander and its various subsidiaries, as issuer and underwriter in the region, along with other Latin American deals.

Practice head(s):

Manuel Garciadiaz; Maurice Blanco; Nicholas Kronfeld

Key clients

Adecoagro

Banco de Bogotá

Banco de Crédito del Perú

Banco Santander (including subsidiaries in Latin America: Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Mexico and Puerto Rico)

BR Malls

BR Properties

Corporación Inmobiliaria Vesta

Cosan

GeoPark

Grupo Aval

Grupo Biotoscana

Grupo Unicomer

Hypermarcas

Patria Investments

Plurinational State of Bolivia

Work highlights

  • Advised XP on its $2.25bn IPO and $954m SEC-registered secondary offering.
  • Advised the initial purchasers on the $500m notes offering by Empresa de los Ferrocarriles del Estado.
  • Advised Patria Investments on its $588m IPO on Nasdaq.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has one of the largest teams of senior Latin America specialists, spread across its New York and Sao Paulo offices. Capital markets offerings have accounted for a significant proportion of the broader Latin America practice with the team landing many of the headline IPOs and equity offerings engagements in Brazil; in 2020 alone, the team advised on nine Brazilian IPOs and five other equity offerings, including the IPOs of Grupo Mateus and Hidrovias do Brasil. It also advised the underwriters on the SEC-registered IPOs of Pátria Investimentos, Vasta Platform and Intercorp Financial Services, the latter being the first Peruvian IPO on the NYSE in six years. Beyond its core market of Brazil, the group has an outstanding record in the Southern Cone, Peru and other Latin American jurisdictions. It has also successfully leveraged the firm’s global reputation in high-yield debt to advise on a multitude of these deals in the region. Sovereign debt offerings is another forte for the group. Splitting his time between New York and Sao Paulo, Todd Crider heads the Latin America group, and has an outstanding record in big-ticket equity and debt offerings across Latin America. Grenfel Calheiros heads the Sao Paulo office and has emerged as one of the leading figures in Brazil IPOs, equity offerings and debt offerings.  Juan Francisco Méndez is another key member of the team with a broad geographic coverage and is noted for his experience in PIPE investments, while Jaime Mercado is noted for sovereign debt deals across the region. Juan Naveira is another emerging talent. All named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise. Since publication, the firm has further strengthened its Sao Paulo office with the promotion of counsel Paulo Fernando de Menezes to partner, effective as of Decmber 2021.

Practice head(s):

Todd Crider; Jamie Mercado; Juan Francisco Méndez; Grenfel Calheiros; Juan Naveira; David Williams

Key clients

Ambipar Participações e Empreendimentos

Albanesi

América Móvil

Aura Minerals

Banco de Crédito e Inversiones

Banco do Brasil Securities

Banco Hipotecario

BBVA

BNP Paribas

BofA Merrill Lynch

Boa Vista Serviços

Braskem

BRF

BTG Pactual

Burger King Brasil

Celulosa Arauco

Citigroup

Cofra Holding

Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE)

Corp Group Banking

Credit Suisse

Cury Construtora e Incorporadora

C&A Modas

Despegar.com

Deutsche Bank

Embotelladora Andina

FIBRA Prologis

FIBRA Macquarie México

Fondo Mivivienda

Genneia

Goldman Sachs

Grupo Sura

Republic of Guatemala

HSBC

INCAS

Interbank

Intercorp Financial Services

InRetail

Itaú

JP Morgan

LOG Commercial Properties e Participações

Morgan Stanley

Neogrid Participações

Pan American Energy

Pátria Investimentos

Republic of Peru

RBC Capital Markets

Santander

Sinqia

Silver Lake Sumeru

Standard Chartered Bank

Sura Asset Management

UBS

Unigel Participações

Via Varejo

Vivara Participações

YPF Luz

Work highlights

  • Advised MPM Corpóreos (Espaçolaser) and certain selling shareholders on the initial public offering of Espaçolaser on the São Paulo Stock Exchange.
  • Advised the underwriters, on the SEC-registered IPO by Patria Investments.
  • Advised Neogrid Participações on its IPO on the São Paulo Stock Exchange.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP‘s leading Latin America capital markets practice has a major market share of headline Brazil equity offerings, including both issuer and underwriter engagements. Beyond Brazil, the Latin America group has advised on a series of headline deals in Colombia and Chile, along with debt workout mandates in Argentina and Ecuador. The team is at the forefront of the burgeoning sustainability bonds segment, leveraging pre-existing experience from US and European offices. It is also making headway in Latin America SPAC offerings, thanks to strong expertise in the New York office. Liability management is another area of specialism with newly-elected partner Rafael Roberti to the fore. John Vetterli is global head of capital markets and has a primary emphasis on Latin America, having focused on the region for many years and had a stint in the Sao Paulo office. Donald Baker founded the Sao Paulo office in 1997 and continues to hold strong connections to Brazilian issuers and key underwriters in the region. Sao Paulo’s John Guzman has a prolific record in Brazil equity and debt offerings, including IPOs, follow-on equity offerings and sustainability bonds. Bibiana Jaimes also previously completed a lengthy stint in Sao Paulo and is a recognised versatile practitioner. Continuing the firm's Sao Paulo tradition, Abraham Paul (unregistered equity and debt capital markets offerings, as well as US-registered offerings) was raised to the partnership in October 2021. Miami partner Mark Bagnall has retired. Named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

John Vetterli

Testimonials

‘In my opinion, the team is the best in the business. They have led all the important issues that have been made in Guatemala and in LATAM in general. His knowledge of the market is impressive and I don’t think there is another firm like it. We have worked with several international firms and W&C is definitely the best team. The project management is impeccable.’

‘Without a doubt the undisputed leader of the practice area is John Vetterli.’

Key clients

Aerovías de México

Alliance Bernstein

Alpha Holding

Amaggi Group

Amundi

Ashmore

B2W Digital

Banco Bradesco

Banco BTG Pactual

Banco Mercantil del Norte

BB Securities

BBVA Bancomer

BlackRock

BofA Securities

BTG Pactual US Capital

Caixa Econômica Federal

Citigroup Global Markets

Colombia Telecomunicaciones

Credit Suisse Securities

Enjoei.com.br

Fidelity

Fondo Especial para Financiamientos Agropecarios

Gases del Pacífico

Goldman Sachs

Grupo Financiero Banorte

Grupo Financiero BBVA Bancomer

Institución de Banca Multiple

Itau BBA USA Securities

J.P. Morgan Securities

Lojas Americanas

Morgan Stanley

Natixis Securities Americas

Promigas

Santander Investment Securities

Scotiabank Chile

T-Rowe Price

Wester Asset

Wellington

XP Investments

Work highlights

  • Represented ColTel, the Colombian subsidiary of Spain-based Telefónica, on a liability management transaction with respect to its outstanding debt and hybrid securities in the international capital markets.
  • Represented the Ad Hoc Argentine Bondholder Group, the largest group of the Republic of Argentina bondholders, in the successful restructuring of circa $64bn of the country’s external debt.
  • Represented the bookrunners on a $1bn global offering by Brazil-based Natura & Co.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance is a strong player in Brazil equity deals thanks to its sizeable Sao Paulo office, while having strong presence in high-yield debt, hybrid securities and sovereign offerings across the region. Debt restructurings and refinancings are another forte for the team. It represents a wealth of Latin American issuers and a number of key banks as underwriters. It has a particularly strong record in offerings by financial institutions. Jonathan Zonis leads the Latin America practice and is co-head of the Americas capital markets group, having a strong record in corporate and sovereign offerings. Hugo Triaca has emerged as a pivotal member of the team, working on a range of equity and debt offerings in multiple Latin American jurisdictions. Anand Saha is noted for equity, debt and liability management transactions, especially those originating in Brazil. Sao Paulo managing partner Anthony Oldfield provides further senior level gravitas on headline and big-ticket Brazil offerings, frequently acting for both issuers and underwriters. Sao Paulo counsels Patrick Jackson and Anja Pfleger Andrade also provide further senior expertise on multiple Brazil deals, while associate Mariana Estévez also impresses. Gianluca Bacchiocchi and Guido Liniado have left the firm. All named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Zonis; Anthony Oldfield

Testimonials

‘A highly qualified team that combines deep technical knowledge with vast practical experience in solving diverse issues that arise in the context of a capital markets operation.’

‘Clifford Chance’s capital markets team provides an excellent service in the different capital market products. It is a team with a strong presence in transactions concerning Argentine issuers, and particularly suitable for sub-sovereign capital market transactions and complex restructuring in the international capital market.’

‘Experienced team, with extensive capabilities to handle multi-jurisdictional transactions. Multilingual team and a firm with capacities in different jurisdictions.’

‘Hugo Triaca is a sensational lawyer. Super solid, with a lot of common criteria to solve situations, and with an excellent ability to execute transactions.’

‘Hugo Triaca – very dedicated and knowledgeable about the practice area. Fully bilingual, excellent dealings with clients and colleagues.’

‘Jonathan Zonis – experienced, very good technically and very good treatment of clients.’

‘Anand Saha – experience, technical knowledge, availability.’

‘Anja Pfleger Andrade – experience, technical knowledge, proficiency in the Portuguese language.’

Key clients

AES Panama

Republic of Costa Rica

Eletrobras

Banco do Brasil

Klabin Finance

Empresas Públicas de Medellín

BNDES

Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior

Compañía Latinoamericana de Infraestructura y Servicios

Corporación Financiera de Desarrollo

Work highlights

  • Advised the Argentina Creditor Committee on the successful restructuring of approximately $65bn of eligible bonds by the Republic of Argentina.
  • Advised four Panamanian subsidiaries of The AES Corporation, on the refinancing of $1.48bn of existing debt and capital expenditures, which involved the creation of a Panamanian finance affiliate to issue 1.38bn of notes.
  • Advised the initial purchasers, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse, on Banconal’s record-breaking Rule 144A/Regulation S bond issuance,  the largest ever by a Panamanian financial institution and was Banconal’s debut issuance in the international capital markets.

Milbank

Milbank has a large, established and diversified Latin America capital markets practice. Drawing on its history there, its handful of highly-experienced Latin America specialists, and its eminent New York and Sao Paulo teams, it is frequently engaged on the biggest deals in the market. The team has made a particular impression in green bonds and sustainability-linked bonds and has been at the forefront of Brazil's upsurge in IPO deals. Marcelo Mottesi is global head of the capital markets practice and co-head of the Latin America group; he has an established record in Latin America bond offerings, including green bonds and sustainability-linked issuances. Carlos Albarracin is a leader in energy and infrastructure-related offerings, particularly in Mexico, Colombia and Argentina; he covers both bank financings and capital markets issuances. Sao Paulo partner Tobias Stirnberg is a key figure in investment grade and high-yield debt, and equity offerings. Fabiana Sakai is another highly-rated practitioner in Sao Paulo, and has led the team on a series of headline Brazil IPOs and other equity offerings.

Practice head(s):

Marcelo Mottesi; Tobias Stirnberg

Key clients

BofA Merrill Lynch

Avianca

JP Morgan

Cencosud

YPF

Grupo Energía Bogotá

Tanner Servicios Financieros

Braskem

Goldman Sachs

Morgan Stanley

Work highlights

  • Advised the initial purchasers on the $300m issuance of of 4.875% subordinated fixed-to-fixed rate notes by Banco Industrial; it was Banco Industrial’s return to the international bond markets for the first time in eight years.
  • Advised the consent solicitation agents ion the Province of Córdoba’s successful restructuring of its outstanding $1.6bn notes.
  • Advised InterEnergy on a first-time issuer Rule 144A green project bond financing by its portfolio wind and solar power generation companies, including UEP Penonomé as issuer.

Paul Hastings LLP

Paul Hastings LLP has been a dominant force in Mexico capital markets offerings over the years and has gradually built up its Latin-America wide credentials over recent years, particularly with the growth of its Sao Paulo office. The firm has impressed across the product range, including equity, debt and high-yield debt transactions, along with project bonds and hybrid financings. The firm is also at the forefront of debt restructurings in the region. Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Argentina are its primary markets. Michael Fitzgerald has an unrivalled reputation as the senior statesman of the Mexico market with a deal record that has taken in many of the headline transactions of the last 20 years and more. Cathleen McLaughlin is also hugely experienced in a range of debt transactions, including high-yield, project bonds and hybrid financings. Arturo Carrillo has broad regional experience, notably high-yield debt and other bond offerings in Mexico. Joy Gallup provides extensive experience in high-yield debt, product bonds and structured products, particularly in Mexico. Of counsel Pedro Reyes is also highly rated for Mexico deals. Former Sao Paulo-based partner David Flechner left in September 2021 (returning to Allen & Overy LLP in New York), but the firm moved quickly to replace him, hiring Thiago Spercel from Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice Advogados  the same month. Former of counsel Veronica Rodriguez and associate Eduardo Gonzalez moved in house at Univision and HSBC, respectively, during the course of 2021.

Practice head(s):

Michael Fitzgerald

Testimonials

‘An experienced team, with knowledge of the market, trends and the main players in this type of transaction. They have been in this practice for many years and therefore they know the difficulties and know how to provide solutions to the problems that may arise in the process.’

‘Paul Hastings has the most comprehensive team when it comes to capital markets issues. The versatility of advising both issuers and banks makes them unique in this practice. In particular, in Mexico, it is indisputably the most relevant international firm.’

‘Mike Fitzgerald is a dean and institution in the capital markets practice. There is simply no one who is more experienced than him.’

‘Arturo Carrillo perfectly understands the client’s needs and understands the Mexican market like no one else.’

‘Joy Gallup is a perfectionist and a great lawyer.’

‘Pedro Reyes and Veronica Rodriguez are growing stars.’

Key clients

Grupo Industrial Alfa

Sigma Alimentos

Nemak

Axtel

Companhia Energética de Minas Gerais (CEMIG)

Credivalores-Crediservicios

GRUMA

Energy Infrastructure Group

Banco del Bajio

Grupo Traxión

Crédito Real

Grupo Kaltex

Braskem Idesa

Grupo Televisa

Sacyr

Citigroup

Barclays

Credit Suisse

Morgan Stanley

JP Morgan

Work highlights

  • Represented the ad-hoc board of directors of Petróleos de Venezuela in connection with the renegotiation of bonds and possible exchange for new securities as part of the litigation involving its 2020 bonds secured by the stock of CITGO.
  • Represented certain noteholders of Avianca’s senior secured notes in connection with the Chapter 11 cases of Avianca and its direct and indirect subsidiaries.
  • Represented the initial purchasers in connection with a $650m senior notes offering by Fibra Uno, the largest real estate company in Latin America.

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Shearman & Sterling LLP has an illustrious history in Latin America deals, more recently achieving particular prominence in underwriter roles SEC-registered offerings and sovereign offerings. In this regard, Stuart Fleischmann is hugely experienced in big-ticket Latin America offerings, including high value IPOs and equity offerings, green bonds, and sovereign bond offerings as designated underwriters' counsel. He is now the most senior partner in the practice, following former department head Antonia Stolper's retirement from the partnership, though she remains active in the region as of counsel in the team. The group advised the dealer managers on a series of bond issuances by the Republic of Uruguay. It also represented the dealer managers in the cash tender offers by Petróleo Brasileiro (Petrobras) for $2.7bn of certain notes of its outstanding series of global notes. In another key deal, the team advised Azul on its issuance of convertible debentures in Brazil.  Grissel Mercado is an emerging talent in deals across the region, including corporate and sovereign issuances. Roberta Cherman is another key name in Sao Paulo, where the firm hired counsel Jonathan Lewis, a capital markets specialist, from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in July 2021. All named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP continues to be at the forefront of an active Brazilian capital markets space, including big-ticket IPOs, follow-on offerings, and high-yield debt offerings. Much credit should go to its highly rated Sao Paulo office where Mathias von Bernuth has an outstanding reputation, along with Filipe Areno. The two have developed strong connections to a range of Brazilian issuers and have excellent relationships with key underwriters. New York partner Alejandro González Lazzeri is another prolific adviser on debt offerings throughout the region, particularly investment grade and high-yield debt deals in Mexico.

Practice head(s):

Paola Lozano, Paul Schnell

Key clients

Rede D’Or São Luiz

Banco BTG Pactual

Ultrapar Participações

HSBC Securities

JP Morgan Securities

Hidrovias do Brasil

Work highlights

  • Advised Hidrovias do Brasil on its $552m Rule 144A/Regulation S IPO and listing on the B3 Market segment of Bovespa; this was one of the largest IPOs in the Brazilian markets in 2020.
  • Represented a syndicate of underwriters led by Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley in a $500m Rule 144A/Regulation S high-yield offering by Nexa Resources.
  • Advised Banco BTG Pactual on its $500m Rule 144A/Regulation S high-yield offering of senior notes under its newly updated medium-term note programme.

Arnold & Porter

Arnold & Porter remains best known for its representation of sovereigns and quasi-sovereigns in Latin America. This includes key relationships with ministries of finance and central banks, state-owned companies, municipalities and the sovereign states themselves. The firm also has a more than respectable record in private sector issuances and has an additional forte in derivatives, structured finance and securitisations transactions, including diversified payments rights deals. Key clients include the Republic of Colombia, Republic of Panama and Republic of El Salvador, along with Banco Central de Brazil. Whitney Debevoise is a market leader in sovereign offerings, along with Gregory Harrington, while Panamanian native Raul Herrera provides further senior level expertise, as do counsels Arturo Caraballo and Carlos Pelaez.

Practice head(s):

Whitney Debevoise

Key clients

Republic of Colombia

Republic of Panama

Province of Buenos Aires Creditors’ Committee

Camposol

Republic of El Salvador

Republic of Honduras

Banco Central de Brazil

Empresa Nacional de Autopistas

Caja de Ahorros

Work highlights

  • Advised the Republic of Panama on its $1.25bn  and $1.2bn global bond offerings.
  • Advised the Republic of Colombia on its $1.5bn and $1.3bn global bond offerings.
  • Advised Panamanian toll road operator Empresa Nacional de Autopista on ENA Master Trust’s $400m senior secured notes offering.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP has an outstanding record in equity and debt offerings, including high-yield debt. This has allowed it to develop a fine standing in global offerings, including those originating from Latin America. In 2020, it advised initial purchasers on the $500m senior notes offering by ENGIE Energía Chile, the leading electricity generation company. David Mercado has a longstanding focus on Latin America, covering both M&A and capital markets transactions. Sasha Rosenthal‑Larrea provides further senior expertise in investment grade and high-yield debt.

Practice head(s):

David Mercado

Testimonials

‘Cravath remains true to its strategy of only looking at complex issues for sophisticated clients, and not looking for market share or league table credit alone. Partners are very hands-on and add more value than everyone else. They work very well in and as a team.’

‘The business sense of its partners and lawyers, and the determination to provide strategic advice and not simply close the matter, is a huge differentiator. They are true trusted advisers to the board of directors and the board. They are the best.’

Key clients

Anheuser-Busch InBev

Avon

Bacardi

Naspers

New Fortress Energy

OLX

Work highlights

  • Represented the initial purchasers in the $500m 144A/Reg S senior notes offering by ENGIE Energía Chile, the leading electricity generation company and energy services provider.
  • Represented the initial purchasers in the $500m 144A/Reg S notes offering by Inversiones CMPC.
  • Represented New Fortress Energy in its $1bn 144A/Reg S high-yield senior secured notes offering; New Fortress Energy has significant operations in Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and Jamaica.

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US)'s extensive presence in Latin America itself and US-based teams that are focused on the region, ensures a steady flow of capital markets engagements, particularly on the issuer side. The firm made a further impression in sub-sovereign debt restructurings in Argentina and has advised on a series of follow-on equity and high-yield debt offerings for key corporate clients; new San Diego partner Raul Farias advised Crédito Real on a $500m senior notes offering in 2020. In addition to Argentina, the firm has seen high levels of activity in Colombia and Mexico, among others. Marcelo Etchebarne is a key figure in Argentina, while New York partner Christopher Paci brings extensive US securities expertise; the two teamed up to advise the Province of Mendoza (Argentina) on its debt exchange offer as part of its international debt restructuring.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Paci

Key clients

Globant

Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior (Bladex)

Banco Votorantim

Puerto Rico Public-Private Partnership Authority

ALSEA

Quálitas Controladora and its main subsidiary Quálitas Compañía de Seguros

Genomma Lab Internacional

Crédito Real

Giddings Fruit

3R Petroleum

Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA)

Work highlights

  • Advised the Province of Mendoza in its debt exchange offer and consent solicitation relating to $590m of its existing notes.
  • Advised 3R Petroleum on its IPO on Brazil’s stock exchange.
  • Advised Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) on its $1.37bn of revenue refunding bonds.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Greenberg Traurig, LLP's tight connections to Latin America through its Miami, New York, Mexico City and other offices, delivers a strong pipeline of capital markets engagements. More recently, the US firm's experience in SPAC transactions has seen it advise on a series of deals originating from Latin America; it advised DD3 Acquisition Corp, a SPAC, on its business combination with Betterware de Mexico, which became the first Mexican company to be directly listed on NASDAQ. Moreover, it has seen an uptick in liability management transactions linked to the Covid crisis, particularly in the aviation sector; it advised ACI Airport SudAmérica, the concessionaire of the Carrasco International Airport in Montevideo, Uruguay, on a $186m international exchange offer to restructure local debt. The largely issuer focused practice is led by the immensely experienced Marc Rossell and includes Oscar Stephens, who is active in the structured debt segment. Both are based in New York.

Practice head(s):

Marc Rossell; José Raz Guzmán

Testimonials

‘They have a solid team in capital markets, pragmatic and with a business vision. They stand out for their quick responses and professionalism.’ 

‘Greenberg Traurig is at the high-end in the practice of capital markets for Latin America. They have a large team dedicated to Latin America. They have many Spanish speakers, which is critical when it comes to providing legal advice in LatAm. They also have some attorneys trained in the civil law system, which allows them to understand local law issues that are more difficult for attorneys from other jurisdictions to understand.’

‘The Greenberg Trauring team provides exceptional management when it comes to the issuance of bonds under Reg S/Rule 144A in international financial markets by foreign issuers. They provide comprehensive legal advice in a timely manner. GT provides an excellent service, equating itself to other top tier law firms with which we have worked on issues related to the issuance of bonds in the international financial markets.’

‘The services rendered by Greenberg Traurig are outstanding. They provide excellent legal counsel in a timely manner, demonstrate thorough knowledge in capital markets, and readily give simple explanations to laypeople in legal matters. Moreover, they have commercial insight, and provide practical solutions in cross-border operations.’

‘I had the pleasure of working with Marc Rossell and Oscar Stephens, both of whom exhaustively handle matters related to bond issues in international financial markets under Reg S/Rule 144A.’

‘The partners with whom we worked with were Marc Rossell and Oscar Stephens. Their work is exceptional. They have a very thorough knowledge of securities and capital markets under New York law.’

Key clients

Avianca Holdings

KST Electric Power Company

Aeropuertos Argentina 2000

DD3 Acquisition Corp

Schultze Special Purpose Acquisition Corporation

ACI Airport SudAmerica

Oppenheimer & Co

Bioceres

Corporacion America Airports

Betterware de Mexico

Work highlights

  • Advised Avianca Holdings, the holding company for several Latin American airlines operating under the Avianca name, on its offer to exchange its $550m unsecured notes for secured notes due 2020.
  • Advised KST Electric Power Company on the refinancing for the operation of a 433MW strategic power generation project in Chihuahua, Mexico, which included a private placement of covered notes and uncovered notes.
  • Represented Aeropuertos Argentina, the concessionaire of 35 of Argentina’s 53 airports, on the first Latin American exchange offer underwriting PIK notes after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hogan Lovells US LLP

Hogan Lovells US LLP has a broad-based capital markets practice covering a range of equity and debt products, along with structured finance and derivatives transactions. It also has broad geographic coverage, which includes sovereign offerings for the Republic of Ecuador, a key long-term client for the Latin America practice, and the city of Córdoba in Argentina. Emil Arca is global head of the capital markets group and a leader in structured finance and securitisations, notably diversified payments rights transactions. Evan Koster is noted for sovereign bond offerings, while Sao Paulo's Isabel Carvalho is an experienced figure in Brazil IPOs and follow-on offerings. Ben Garcia has joined the firm from Milbank to provide additional senior-level capital markets expertise to the Latin America team, especially in the project bonds segment.

Practice head(s):

Emil Arca

Key clients

Banco BMG

Banco de la Producción

Banco del Pacifico

Banco do Brasil

Banco Industrial

Banco Pichincha

BNP Paribas

Caixa Participações

Citigroup Global Markets

Empresa Pública de Exploración y Explotación de Hidrocarburos Petroamazonas

HSBC Securities

Republic of Ecuador

The Central America Bottling Corporation

The City of Córdoba

Work highlights

  • Advised the Republic of Ecuador on the landmark restructuring of its $17.4bn of international bonds.
  • Advised BNP Paribas and BB Securities on the structuring, documenting, and closing of the first three issuances of the Rio Oil Finance Trust securitisation programme.
  • Advised Citigroup Global Markets and HSBC Securities (USA) on an aggregate of $1.5bn bond offerings by The Republic of Costa Rica.

Holland & Knight LLP

Holland & Knight LLP has demonstrated an ever greater commitment to Latin America, which includes a substantial focus on capital markets transactions, notably a range of equity, debt and project bond deals. The firm has impressed with its roles in a series of SEC-registered IPOs, and other equity and debt offerings. It also has an established record in project bonds and is making a further impression in sovereign offerings. Stephen Double has a long history with Latin America, often representing issuers, including debut issuers from around the region, on their bond offerings. Miami and New York partner Norberto Quintana is highly rated for project bonds and infrastructure-related fund raising. Steven Sandretto joined the firm from Paul Hastings LLP in September 2020, to reinforce the Latin America capital markets team.

Practice head(s):

Roberto Pupo, Cindy Brazell, Matthew Fontane

Testimonials

‘The Holland & Knight team is extremely experienced and resourceful. They are extremely diligent and client-focused. Particular expertise in complex structuring, covenant negotiation, risk management and mitigation.’

‘Steven Sandretto has great experience in capital markets. His experience and transaction skills helped us execute the deal.’

‘Stephen Double and Steven Sandretto are dedicated professionals with multiple years of experience and expertise, particularly in LatAm capital markets origination and execution.’

We have been working with Peter Baumgartner’s team for many years in transactions and the support has always been spotless. They have a deep understanding of our role and associated risks and make negotiating contracts extremely smooth.’

Key clients

Adecoagro

Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior (Bladex)

Deutsche Bank

Fibra Educa

Grupo CCR

JP Morgan

MRV Engenharia

Province of Jujuy, Argentina

TMF Group

Work highlights

  • Represented Fibra UNO in its $650m international senior notes offering.  
  • Represented Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior (Bladex) in the offer and sale of $400m senior notes under its EMTN programme.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP intensified its focus on Latin America in early 2021 with the hire of big name partner Gianluca Bacchiocchi, emerging talent Guido Liniado and a team from Clifford Chance. The new group brings additional expertise in project bonds and hybrid financings, and has the ability to leverage the firm's global leadership in energy and infrastructure finance. Prior to their arrival, the Latin America team was already active in high yield and investment grade debt, another forte for the firm globally. The group has also made an impression in convertible debt and social bonds, while occasionally taking engagements in the sovereign bond offering space. Historically, much of the team's practice has centred on Mexico and the Southern Cone, though Bacchiocchi's arrival will widen its offering, including in Brazil where the firm has lagged behind some competitors in recent years; though it did advise cornerstone client The Carlyle Group on the $2bn IPO of Rede D’Or São Luiz, the operator of the largest independent private hospital network in Brazil in 2020. Lead partner on the deal Roderick Branch, splits his time between Chicago and New York, and has a strong focus on Latin America; he is a Mexico native. Washington DC partner Alexander Cohen is co-chair of the SEC national office and frequently supports the core Latin America group.

Practice head(s):

Roderick Branch; Antonio Del Pino

Key clients

BofA Securities

The Carlyle Group

Citibank

Goldman Sachs

Infraestructura Energética Nova (IEnova)

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

JP Morgan

Morgan Stanley

TAG Pipelines Norte Holding

Work highlights

  • Advised the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), as guarantor, on a $400m social bond offering by the Republic of Ecuador, the first sovereign in the world to conduct a financing of this kind.
  • Advised The Carlyle Group on the global IPO by Rede D’Or São Luiz, the operator of the largest independent private hospital network in Brazil; the $2bn offering was the largest IPO in Brazil since 2013.
  • Represented BofA Securities in the $350m convertible senior notes offering by Copa Holdings, the leading Latin American provider of passengers and cargo services through its subsidiaries Copa Airlines and Copa Airlines Colombia.

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP has a relatively lean Latin America practice, though it has a highly credible capital markets record, particularly in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Peru. Conrado Tenaglia has an excellent reputation in the Southern Cone, including in sub-sovereign issuances for Argentine municipalities as part of debt restructuring programmes. Matthew Poulter, who splits his time between Sao Paulo and New York, is a frequent adviser on novel and headline offerings by Brazilian issuers. He led the team that advised the underwriters on Suzano's SEC-registered $750m global notes offering, cash tender offers for all outstanding guaranteed notes issued by Suzano's subsidiaries; the new bonds were issued under Suzano's sustainability-linked securities framework. Gabriel Silva left the firm in January 2021.

Practice head(s):

Conrado Tenaglia

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown continues to shine in project bonds, private placements collateralised by infrastructure assets, structured bonds and future flow securitisations. Moreover, it is further building its presence in Brazil IPOs and equity offerings, along with liability management deals across the region. It remains noted for its advice to influential underwriters in the region, while gaining ground as issuer's counsel in many deals. Douglas Doetsch leads the Latin America group and is a leading figure in securitisations and project bonds in the region. Juan Pablo Moreno is also active in project bonds, along with equity offerings and IPOs in Brazil. New York partner David Bakst is another key figure in the firm's Brazil equity offering work, along with Washington DC and New York partner Christopher Erckert, who is a leader in project bonds and private placements.

Practice head(s):

Douglas Doetsch

Key clients

Banco Santander

Bank of Nova Scotia

BNP Paribas

Bradesco

Credijusto

Credit Suisse

Global Bank

Goldman Sachs

JPMorgan Chase

Wells Fargo

Work highlights

  • Represented Credit Suisse in the issuance of $50m and $40m notes under Banco de La Produccion’s diversified payments rights programme.
  • Advised Locaweb Serviços de Internet and the selling shareholders in its Brazil IPO and concurrent placement and sale of shares outside of Brazil under Rule 144A/Regulation S.
  • Represented Citi, UBS and Banco Santander as dealer managers in  a Rule 144A/Regulation S exchange offering of notes issued by Aeropouertos Argentina 2000.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is best known for Latin America private placement transactions for institutional investors, along with bond offerings smaller markets. It continues to operate strongly in the bondholder restructuring space, despite the departure of key partner Timothy DeSieno in September 2020; special adviser Michael Reilly has rejoined the firm to cover this segment and has an established record in Latin America deals. Hartford partner Daniel Papermaster is a leading name in private placements for institutional investors and London's Carter Brod is also active in the Latin America bond offering sector, including for sovereigns and sub-sovereigns.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Mellor; Juan-Pablo Crespo

Testimonials

‘As it was our first experience with international lawyers outside the country, we are very satisfied with the skills of the ML team, especially that of Carter Brod.’

‘Carter Brod has a predisposition to serve the client at any time. He also had the ability to resolve the issues and seek the optimal and precise solution for the problems that arose.’

Key clients

Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago

Republic of Suriname

Frigorifico Concepción

Work highlights

  • Represented the leading producer, distributor, marketer, and exporter of meats in Paraguay and Bolivia, in a debut $100m  Rule 144A/Regulation S high-yield debt offering.
  • Represented the telecommunications company in Trinidad and Tobago in a $400m international bond offering.
  • Represented Prudential Insurance in its purchase of $75m of senior secured notes of a global provider of process-driven IT solutions with offices in North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is highly rated for SEC-registered offerings and other marquee deals. It also has a presence in sovereign offerings, particularly for underwriters, and project bonds. The Latin America team advised the underwriters on the United Mexican States' $3bn global note offering, the first ever SEC-registered Formosa offering by a foreign sovereign government. It also represented the underwriters on the Republic of Panama's largest capital markets financing in its history, totalling some $2.57bn in bonds and notes. In addition, it advised the underwriters on the United Mexican States' €750m fund raising under its sustainable development goals sovereign bond framework. Sergio Galvis, Christopher Mann and Werner Ahlers comprise the core Latin America team.

Winston & Strawn LLP

Winston & Strawn LLP is noted for structured finance-type transactions, including future flow securitisations, public M&A-related deals and capital markets offerings linked to corporate restructurings. It represents a number of Latin America-based businesses that are listed in New York. Talbert Navia is co-head of the Latin America group and has a notable record in Argentina and Mexico bond offerings. Fellow co-head Allen Miller is highly rated for complex transactions, including future flows securitisations, bond offerings, corporate reorganisations and high-value capital increases. Sey-Hyo Lee is another key member of the team, while Claude Serfilippi is noted for high-yield debt and project bonds. Rodrigo Carvalho joined the firm (from Bank of America, Sao Paulo) in April 2021, bringing his extensive experience in corporate M&A, capital markets, and banking and finance with a particular focus on Brazil-related matters.

Practice head(s):

Allen Miller; Talbert Navia

Key clients

Enel Americas

TV Azteca

Enel Chile

Grupo Elektra

Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile

Nueva Elektra del Milenio

Total Play Telecomunicaciones

Work highlights

  • Represented Nueva Elektra del Milenio and its parent, Grupo Elektra, in a future flows securitisation financing involving interests in receivables related to personal money transfers from the US to Mexico.
  • Represented Socieded Química y Minera de Chile in connection with its $400m notes offering.

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP has an extensive Latin America capital markets team based across its numerous offices in the region itself and in New York and other US offices. This enables the firm to land numerous engagements as local law advisers. This is perhaps most notable in Peru, where it counts the Republic of Peru and a range of corporates as key clients. The Lima office represented the Republic of Peru, through the Ministry of Economy and Finance, in its international $2.92bn sovereign bonds offering in two tranches. Lima partner Pablo Berckholtz is chair of the Latin America capital markets group and has an outstanding reputation in the capital markets segment. Daniel Facó is a key figure at Brazil associate firm Trench Rossi Watanabe.

Practice head(s):

Pablo Berckholtz

Key clients

Republic of Peru

Natura Cosméticos

Banco Falabella Peru

Centauro

Telefonica del Peru

Natixis Cross Border Marketing Survey

Parque Eólico Kiyú

Goldman Sachs do Brasil Banco Múltiplo, Banco Itaú BBA , Banco Safra and Banco BNP Paribas Brasil

Banco Internacional del Perú  – Interbank

HSBC Securities (USA) and JP Morgan Securities

Scotiabank Peru

Saga Brasil Administração e Particiações

Citigroup Global Markets

Sumatoria Asset Management

Bausch Health Companies

Autopista Rio Magdalena

Siemens Financial Services

Work highlights

  • Advised Republic of Peru, through the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), on its international $2.92bn sovereign bonds offering in two tranches.
  • Advised Brazilian sporting goods retailer Centauro on its $180m equity follow-on offering.
  • Advised Natixis on compliance with relevant financial regulations in markets where the bank markets and/or enters into transactions related to financial products.

Dechert LLP

Dechert LLP is a recognised Latin America force thanks to the presence of Howard Kleinman in equity and debt offerings from multiple jurisdictions in the region. The firm is also at the forefront of bondholder restructurings with Allan Brilliant, a leader in this field.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is best known for project and infrastructure bonds, structured finance and private placements. Tomer Pinkusiewicz is co-chair of the Latin America practice and has an extensive record in project bonds and infrastructure financings.

Practice head(s):

Lisa Alfaro; Jose Fernandez; Tomer Pinkusiewicz