Corporate and M&A in Latin America: International firms

Corporate and M&A transactions declined in 2020 and into 2021 as uncertainty swept Latin America in the wake of the devastating Covid-19 pandemic. With Brazil, Colombia, Peru and other Latin American nations particularly impacted by the crisis, it put a brake on deal activity. On the other hand, the crisis opened the way for a series of distressed M&A acquisitions and private equity money has continued to flow into the region as financial sponsors took advantage of lower company valuations. After a surge of SPAC initial public offerings (IPOs) and de-SPAC M&A deals in the US, there is an expectation that this trend will percolate into Latin America. Moreover, the growth of fintech and growth companies in Brazil and elsewhere is leading to a significant rise in venture capital investments.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton's outstanding client list in Latin America provides it with a steady pipeline of transactional engagements in and outside the region; outbound M&A transactions from the region have been a particular feature most recently. Moreover, the firm's strong global standing in private equity brings it numerous Latin America engagements from financial sponsors such as Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. The firm remains at the forefront of natural resources deals, with deal flow growing thanks to the rise in commodity prices. It is also noted for consumer products transactions for the likes of The Coca-Cola Company and Mexico-based Coca-Cola FEMSA, the largest Mexico-based franchise Coca-Cola bottler in the world. Jeffrey Lewis has a formidable reputation in Latin America M&A, most notably in the energy and natural resources sectors. Buenos Aires partner Andrés De La Cruz brings a wealth of experience to deals in the Southern Cone and Francesca Odell is at the forefront of M&A and private equity in Brazil and elsewhere. Chantal Kordula has advised on many of the headline cross-border M&A transactions involving Mexican entities in recent years. Sao Paulo partner Juan Giráldez  is a key player in Brazil transactions and frequently represents Brazil-based clients in pan-Latin America deals. Associate Jessica Batlle is highly rated by clients. Named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Testimonials

‘They certainly stand out vs the competition. They are always attentive to details but what makes the team different is that they have a very subtle and refined way of attacking sometimes complex and possibly antagonistic situations in such a way that we always arrive at a solution. They do not hold themselves in positions that are not reasonable. They always look for a suitable solution to protect their client.’

‘Creativity and depth to tackle complex issues, always on a solid base of knowledge and experience. They give great confidence and certainty in the results.’

‘I think the Cleary team is by far the most responsive, knowledgeable and client centric in the region. They leave their egos behind and can work for the client and the deal in an efficient and timely manner. The key differentiator is the mix of raw talent and knowledge, accompanied by a huge sensitivity to cultural nuances, language, counterparty dynamics, timings and gravitas.’

‘Chantal and Jessica are simply the best of the best. When I need NY counsel for a LatAm deal, they are and will likely remain my first call unless conflicted.’

‘Jeff Lewis has extensive knowledge and experience in business and legal matters, allowing him to take a leadership role in any negotiation. He creatively addresses problems, achieving satisfactory solutions that allow building solid and stable agreements.’

‘Chantal Kordula and Jessica Batlle make an incredible team. Jessica probably drives the day-to-day drafting, but with a poise and knowledge way above typical senior associates. She knows when she can move something forward and when she needs to involve Chantal. Chantal is talented, mature, poised and super qualified. She knows Latin America well and can bring creative pro-deal solutions. She is always available and engaged and she is consistently more prepared than senior partners from other top firms across the table.’ 

‘Chantal Kordula and Jessica Batlle stand out for their level of involvement in all the details, anticipating possible issues and actively resolving them. They coordinate very well with financial advisers and really work as a team.’

Key clients

LATAM Airlines Group

América Móvil

Goldman Sachs

CNP Assurances

The Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola FEMSA

Fomento Económico Mexicano

Puerto Rico

BestDay

Tupy

Grupo KUO

Caucedo Development Corporation

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan

Vale and Vale Canada

Work highlights

  • Advised LATAM Airlines on its strategic partnership with Delta; as part of the agreement Delta acquired a 20% stake in LATAM for $1.9bn.
  • Advised América Móvil on the $6.25bn sale of its wholly-owned subsidiary, TracFone Wireless, to Verizon Communications.
  • Represented The Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola FEMSA on the sale of their Panama-based joint venture, Estrella Azul, to Panama Dairy Ventures.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance's substantial emphasis on M&A and private equity within its Latin America practice, continues to land it major engagements across the region. This includes a group in Sao Paulo that impresses in Brazil transactions, notably seeing particular growth in FinTech deals during 2020; it advised Neon Pagamentos, a Brazilian FinTech business, on its $161m funding round, among other deals. The firm continues to be at the forefront of energy and infrastructure deals, and is noted for Asia and Middle East investments into Latin America; it represented China's JCHX Mining Management on its strategic investment in Cordoba Minerals, the Canada-listed business that runs exploration projects in Colombia. David Brinton heads the Americas M&A group and has a fine record in energy transactions across Latin America, including private equity-led deals. Sao Paulo managing partner Anthony Oldfield has strong connections to Brazilian corporates and is a major player in Brazil M&A and fundraisings. Thais Garcia is an emerging name in Latin America private equity and infrastructure M&A. Madrid's Javier Amantegui and Samir Azzouzi are also key names.

Practice head(s):

David Brinton; Anthony Oldfield; Javier Amantegui; Thais Garcia

Key clients

Actis

Ardian

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ)

Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM)

Fitesa

Interconexión Eléctrica (ISA)

Macquarie

Mitsubishi

Neon Pagamentos

Votorantim Cimentos

Work highlights

  • Advised Mitsubishi in connection with the sale of its indirect 40% interests in Empresa Electrica Cochrane.
  • Advised Interconexión Eléctrica (ISA) and its subsidiary ISA Intervial Chile on its acquisition of the Costera Cartagena Barranquilla 4G toll road in Colombia.
  • Advised Ardian, a France-based private equity firm, on aspects of its acquisition of a 33% stake in a Chilean toll road business from Brookfield Infrastructure.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP maintained strong activity levels in 2020, in both strategic and private equity transactions. Much of the team's work centres on infrastructure and energy. It has also experienced an uptick in distressed M&A in the upstream oil and gas sector. Chile has been a bright spot for the Latin America group, along with Central America; it continued to advise Telefónica on the sale of its wireless operations in Costa Rica. Mexico, a long-term forte for the team, provided a steady pipeline of deals, leading into advisory engagements linked to changes in the political climate. With no office in Brazil, the firm is slightly behind some of its natural competitors in that particular jurisdiction. Antonio Del Pino is co-chair of the Latin America group, and has an extensive record in strategic and private equity deals in the region, including those in the energy and infrastructure sectors. Christopher Cross is another experienced figure in energy deals in Latin America, while Ignacio Pallarés is playing a pivotal role from Madrid, where he represents a number of big-name Spanish clients in their Latin America transactions and interests. Javier Stark has been elevated to the partnership, having advised a number of key clients in Brazil, Mexico and other Latin American jurisdictions. Associate Alan Rozen has supported a number of the team's key deals.

Practice head(s):

Antonio Del Pino

Key clients

Telefónica

The Carlyle Group

Northland Power

Indigo Partners

Stericycle

IPSCO Tubulars

Digital Realty Trust

CDPQ

The Blackstone Group

BlackRock

Linzor Capital Partners

Ashmore Group

IFM Investors

Repsol

Work highlights

  • Continued to advise Telefónica on the sale of its wireless operations in Costa Rica.
  • Advised The Carlyle Group on its $825m acquisition of Occidental’s entire onshore portfolio in Colombia.
  • Represented Northland Power in its $1.05bn acquisition of Empresa De Energia De Boyaca, a Colombia-based electrical energy company.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP remains one of the benchmark firms in Latin America for cross-border M&A, private equity and other transactions such as PIPE deals. These are fortes for the firm globally, but the core Latin America has built its own elevated standing in these areas. It has assembled a mightily impressive client list of multinationals, multilatinas and private equity houses. Todd Crider is head of the Latin America practice and has emerged as a true leader in private equity and strategic M&A in the region. Head of the Sao Paulo office Grenfel Calheiros has played a pivotal role in extending the firm's status in Brazil, notably in both M&A and private equity, and in key sectors such as FinTech and financial services. Juan Francisco Méndez and NewYork/Sao Paulo partner Jaime Mercado are also key senior names, along with emerging partner Juan Naveira and counsel Borja Marcos. Founder of the Latin America group David Williams has retired from the partnership. All named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

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

Key clients

Actis Capital

Advent International

APAX

Avianca Airlines

AVINTIV

Banco Caja Social

Banco Comafi

Blackstone and Blackstone Real Estate Partners

Blue Water Worldwide

The Boeing Company

Braskem

Carlyle

Compañía Cervecerías Unidas

Celulosa Arauco

Centro Financiero BHD

Certares Management

Colbun

Compañía de Petróleos de Chile COPEC

CorpBanca

CORPESCA

Credit Suisse

CVC

Despegar.com

Ecopetrol

Embotelladora Andina

Empresa Nacional de Telecomunicaciones

Encourage Capital

Gerdau

Goldman Sachs

Grupo Axo

Grupo Phoenix

Grupo Romero

Inversiones Alxar

Inversiones Piuranas

JP Morgan

KKR

Laureate Education

Localiza Rent a Car

Mercantil Colpatria

Minsur

Netshoes

Pátria Investimentos

Quiñenco

Riverwood Capital

SAAM

San Miguel Industrias PET

Santo Domingo Group

Softbank

Sura Asset Management

Vinci

Work highlights

  • Represented Conductor Technology in connection with a $150m  equity investment round led by Viking Global Investors.
  • Represented leading Latin American travel agency Despegar.com in its renegotiated $56m acquisition of Best Day Travel Group.
  • Advised Laureate Education on its definitive agreement to sell its Brazilian operations to Ser Educacional.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP's celebrated Latin America practice is driven to a high degree by high-value and headline M&A transactions. In Paul Schnell and Paola Lozano, it has two immensely experienced Latin America specialists that have a deep focus on M&A in the region; the former noted for Brazil transactions and the latter for Spanish language jurisdictions. Amongst a series of headline deals in 2020 and 2021, the team advised Embraer (Brazil) on its proposed $4.2bn sale of 80% of its commercial aviation and services operations to Boeing, and on its proposed joint venture with Boeing to promote and develop new markets for Embraer's military transport aircraft. In Sao Paulo, Mathias von Bernuth and  Filipe Areno provide further senior level M&A expertise. Thomas Greenberg is another emerging name in Latin America deals. All named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Paul Schnell; Paola Lozano

Key clients

Softbank

Embraer

Coty

Linx

Adtalem Global Education

Hocol

Work highlights

  • Advised Hocol, a subsidiary of Ecopetrol, on its acquisition of certain assets, rights and obligations of the Colombian branch of Chevron Petroleum Company related to the Chuchupa and Ballena natural gas fields in Colombia.
  • Advised Embraer on its proposed $4.2bn sale of 80% of its commercial aviation and services operations to Boeing, and on its proposed joint venture with Boeing to promote and develop new markets for Embraer’s military transport aircraft.
  • Advised Adtalem Global Education on its sale of its Brazilian operations to YDUQS, a public company controlled by Advent International.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP continues to land many of the highest value cross-border M&A engagements in Latin America. A core Latin America team of three partners remain at the forefront of big-ticket deals in the mining and metals, financial services and other key sectors. The team advised a Brazilian subsidiary of Carrefour on its $1.3bn agreement with Advent International and Walmart to acquire Grupo BIG Brasil, Brazil's third-largest food retailer. It also continued to advise Delta Air Lines on its strategic partnership with LATAM Airlines through a $1.9bn public tender offer for a 20% stake in LATAM. Sergio Galvis is a highly-rated practitioner, noted for his expertise in especially complex transactions, including M&A deals. Werner Ahlers is also a versatile Latin America specialist with an impressive record in M&A, as is Christopher Mann. All are based in New York.

Practice head(s):

Sergio Galvis

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP's Latin America practice is best known for its share of big-ticket and headline capital markets transactions. Its core Latin America team, though, is multi-skilled and is regularly engaged on M&A transactions. Many of the firm's New York partners also frequently advise on cross-border M&A and private equity deals involving Latin America. The firm is particularly noted for Brazil deals and recently advised Afya on its $150m investment by SoftBank Latin America Fund through the purchase of Afya’s Series A perpetual convertible preferred shares. Lead partner on the deal Manuel Garciadiaz leads the Latin America practice and splits his time between Sao Paulo and New York; he is primarily a capital markets specialist but has extensive experience in M&A.

Practice head(s):

Manuel Garciadiaz

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP remains best known for insurance sector deals, private equity transactions and cross-border strategic M&A in Brazil. Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico are also key markets for the Latin America team, which features a number of citizens from the region. Maurizio Levi-Minzi has extensive cross-border M&A and private equity expertise with deep experience of Latin America deals; he led the team that advised International Paper on the sale of its Brazilian corrugated packaging business to Klabin, the biggest paper producer, exporter and recycler in Brazil. Michael Gillespie is a veteran dealmaker with deep knowledge of the Brazil market. Native Spanish speaker David Grosgold is a prominent figure in insurance and financial services deals across Latin America.

Practice head(s):

Michael Gillespie; Maurizio Levi-Minzi

Testimonials

Good organisation, technical depth and excellent and efficient communication. They know the Latin American market, mainly in financial services and work very well with specialised local lawyers to give clients an excellent service.’

‘The dedication and participation of the partners in the negotiations and strategy, the depth and experience of the young lawyers in the team, the diversity of people and participants in the cases.’

Key clients

Ambev

Brookfield Asset Management

BTG Pactual

Carlyle Group

Chubb Limited

Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (CSN)

CPPIB

HI.G Capital Management

International Paper

The Travelers

Work highlights

  • Advised International Paper on the sale of its Brazilian corrugated packaging business to Klabin.
  • Advised Capital International, as minority shareholder of QGOG Constellation, on the company’s debt restructuring implemented through a judicial recovery proceeding in Brazil and a Chapter 15 proceeding.
  • Advised Verizon on its $6.25bn  acquisition of Tracfone from Mexico’s America Movil.

Jones Day

Jones Day has landed a series of big-ticket M&A and private equity engagements involving Latin America in recent years. Despite depressed deal activity in 2020, the firm maintained steady activity levels, especially in Mexico and Brazil, where it has sizeable offices. Moreover, its impressive corporate and private equity client base has brought it deals in multiple jurisdictions;  it advised Chevron as lead outside counsel on the divestiture of its 43% interest in its upstream natural gas assets in Colombia. In private equity, the firm advised Greystar Real Estate Partners in its joint venture with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) and a Brazilian real estate developer's existing partnership to develop a portfolio of rental housing assets across São Paulo. Wade Angus, who splits his time between New York and Sao Paulo, and Sao Paulo partner Marcello Hallake, have excellent records in bulge-bracket Brazil deals, including ENGIE's $8.6bn acquisition of Transportadora Associada de Gás (TAG) from Petrobras in 2019. New York's María Luisa Cánovas and Miami partner Enrique Martin are also key names, as is Sao Paulo of counsel Artur Badra.

Practice head(s):

Luis Riesgo; Wade Angus

Key clients

ENGIE

NII Holdings, Inc.

Oravel Stays Private (OYO)

Chevron USA

Marfrig Global Foods

Betesh Group

Otras Producciones de Energía Photovoltaica (OPDE)

Entravision Communications Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised NII Holdings on the $949m sale of Nextel Brazil to América Móvil.
  • Represented OPDE on the sale of 80% of its equity interests in two photovoltaic power plants, and associated electrical substations and interconnection lines, to an affiliate of Riverstone Holdings.
  • Advised OYO on a joint venture with SoftBank Group to manage its Latin American hotels business.

Paul Hastings LLP

Paul Hastings LLP has significantly expanded its Latin America M&A practice over the last few years, enabling it to enlarge its geographic reach and bring in a high volume of big-ticket deals from Colombia, Peru, Mexico and Brazil especially. Energy and natural resources, infrastructure, media and entertainment, retail, and sports are key sectors for the team. Private equity is another area of strength. Robert Leung and Mike Huang have a fine record in Colombia and Peru deals, including private equity transactions, and are especially active in the energy and infrastructure sectors. Luke Iovine is noted for real estate, telecoms, data centre, media and financial services deals. Jonathan Kellner leads the Sao Paulo office and has an excellent reputation in Brazil strategic M&A and private equity. Veronica Rodriguez is a key name at of counsel level.

Practice head(s):

Michael Fitzgerald

Testimonials

Excellent law firm for LatAm clients.

‘Commitment to the client, proposal of alternatives and solutions for business viability, as well as the identification and mitigation of related legal risks. Agility and understanding of critical aspects.’ 

‘This practice is unique in that it has a group of professionals with extensive experience in M&A transactions in LatAm.’

‘Robert Leung’s knowledge and experience is an important asset for the firm.’

Key clients

Glenfarne Group

Grupo Campollo

Jaguar Growth Partners

FHipo

Intercorp Peru

Ivanhoe Cambridge

Bitso

PwC Mexico

Accendo Banco, Institución de Banca Multiple

Goldman Sachs

Morgan Stanley

JP Morgan

Citibank

HSBC

Credit Suisse

Banco Itau

BTG Pactual

Barclays Capital

BBVA

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Grupo Valorem

Infraestructura Energética Nova

YPF

Work highlights

  • Represented a US private equity fund in its potential acquisition of a sanitation company in Brazil, its first such transaction in the jurisdiction.
  • Represented the largest advertising agency in Brazil and subsidiary of Omnicom in the sale of its minority stake in Pereira & O’Dell to Serviceplan.
  • Advised EIG Partners on the sale of its interest in the TBG gas pipeline in Brazil to Belgian gas infrastructure group Fluxys.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP‘s longstanding commitment to Latin America has been reinforced by a series of team hires in New York and Houston in recent years. These offices now work closely with colleagues in Miami, Mexico City and Sao Paulo, to attract a significant portion of mid-market and $1bn+ Latin America deals. The Latin America team remains best known for private equity, energy (including oil and gas) and infrastructure deals.  It continued to advise on big-ticket deals for Sempra Energy, including its sale of Chile-based Chilquinta Energía to State Grid International Development. It also represented Occidental Petroleum Corporation in its $825m sale of Colombian onshore assets to The Carlyle Group. Moreover, it remains active in the private equity field, most notably advising I Squared Capital on a series of headline deals.  Rodrigo Dominguez and William Parish have brought additional Latin America weight to the Houston office, after joining the firm in 2019. New York’s global co-head of private equity Oliver Brahmst is also experienced in Latin America deals, while Sao Paulo office founder Donald Baker has built a hugely impressive Brazilian client portfolio. In the Houston office, former counsel Emilio Grandío focuses (domestic and cross-border M&A transactions with an emphasis on cross-border transactions in Latin America) was raised to the partnership  in October 2021; while associate Luisa Muskus also impresses clients. Prominent New York M&A and private equity partner Marwan Azzi has left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Viana; Chang-Do Gong

Testimonials

‘The W&C team has extensive experience and an extraordinary team in relation to corporate and M&A practice. They have an in-depth understanding of customer needs and are agile in providing value-added and creative responses to customers.’

‘Very strong M&A team for complex, multi-jurisdictional deals.’

‘They have the best mix of US-based lawyers who are fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and familiar with US requirements for US companies, but equally knowledgeable about the business culture, people, and laws in Latin America. Lawyers in multiple offices effortlessly partner with each other to consider all angles. It’s rare to find a team of cross-jurisdictional lawyers that provides superb multi-jurisdiction work so seamlessly and in a cost effective manner.’ 

‘Marwan Azzi is top notch.’

‘The partner Rodrigo Dominguez stands out especially. He provides a high quality service, very efficiently and in close collaboration with the client. He has an extraordinary professional and human quality.’

‘Associate Luisa Muskus leads teams in a very efficient and dynamic way. She is always attentive to the client’s needs. She is a top-notch attorney.’

Key clients

AMP Capital Investors

Certares Management

Chevron Corporation

IHS Towers

Inkia Energy

I Squared Capital

Itron

Linx

Occidental Petroleum Corporation

Pernod Ricard México

Sempra Energy

Siemens Financial Services

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited

Tec Agro Group

Work highlights

  • Represented Sempra Energy on the $3.59bn sale of its Peruvian businesses to China Yangtze Power International (Hongkong) and on its $2.23bn sale of its Chilean businesses to State Grid International Development.
  • Represented Occidental Petroleum Corporation on the $825m sale of its onshore assets in Colombia to The Carlyle Group.
  • Represented Sempra Energy in its $1.81bn exchange offer for the remaining stake in Infraestructura Energética Nova (IEnova), one of the largest owners and operators of renewable power assets and energy transportation and storage in Mexico.

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP mixes a core team of US-based Latin America specialists with an extensive group of Latin-America-based M&A experts. The firm's commitment to the region is illustrated by a multitude of offices with senior practitioners in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela. Both local Latin America and US-based teams are active in M&A and corporate reorganisations, representing both a mixture of multinationals and multilatinas. A team led by New York partner Alan Zoccolillo advised Brazilian education business YDUQS (formerly Estácio Participações) on its $465m acquisition of Adtalem Educacional do Brasil, the Brazilian education business of Adtalem Global Education, a US public company. Anna Mello, a Rio partner at Trench Rossi Watanabe, Baker McKenzie LLP's associate firm in Brazil, leads the Latin America M&A and private equity practice. Liliana Espinosa in Lima, Daniel Facó in Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires managing partner Gustavo Boruchowicz are also key names.

Practice head(s):

Anna Mello

Key clients

Hitachi

Accenture

Estácio Participações

Advanced Capital International

Brookfield

Telefonica del Perú

Luz del Sur

Unilever

Innovation Network Corporation of Japan

USA mining investor Orion Resources and British investor Audley Capital Advisors

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas

Viajero Hostels

China’s State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC)

Betterware de Mexico

Vrio Corporation

Berlitz Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Nielsen on a corporate reorganisation to separate the consumer data and analytics business, and subsequently on its $2.7bn sale to Advent International.
  • Represented YDUQS (formerly Estácio Participações) in its acquisition of Adtalem Educacional do Brasil, the Brazilian education business of Adtalem Global Education.
  • Advised on the $3.59bn offer by a Chinese power producer to acquire USA-based Sempra Energy’s Peruvian business.

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP achieved further growth in its Latin America M&A practice in 2020, thanks in part to its buoyant private equity business and increased deal flow from Asia, particularly South Korea, into the region. Tech sector deals, a forte for the firm in the US, is also an active area for the Latin America group. The core Latin America group works closely with leading experts in public policy and regulatory matters, to handle especially sensitive cross-border deals. While the Latin America group has a close association with Mexico, it has a fine record across the region, including in Colombia, Chile and Brazil. Sergio Urías co-heads the firm's private equity group and is a major figure in Latin America inbound and outbound transactions; Linzor Capital is a key client on the private equity side.  Gabriel Mesa is another experienced name in private equity and M&A, as is senior counsel Rubén Kraiem. All are based in New York.

Practice head(s):

Sergio Urías

Testimonials

The M&A team has real experience in LatAm transactions and is closely supported by different teams of superb specialists.’

‘The Covington team has remarkable experience that allows them to be creative in solving complex structures and issues, and propose intelligent points of view to negotiate and resolve conflicts between the parties to the transaction.’ 

‘The Covington team is comprised of very smart, dedicated individuals who help make the client look good.’

‘Sergio Urias is extremely knowledgeable and always provides deal-oriented advice.’

‘Gabriel Mesa is an excellent mergers and acquisitions attorney and thought partner. He has great instincts and judgment.’

Key clients

General Electric

Discovery Global Citizens Capital Partners

Solenis

Abertis Infraestructuras

Linzor Capital

Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO)

Sprott Korea

Prisma Medios de Pago

Grupo Proeza

PayClip

Merck

Hyundai Engineering & Construction

Bacardi

Work highlights

  • Represented Abertis Infraestructuras on  its joint acquisition with GIC Special Investment of a controlling stake in Red de Carreteras de Occidente, one of the leading toll road operators in Mexico.
  • Represented Solenis, a manufacturer of specialty chemicals, in the acquisition of Poliquímicos, a Mexican paper, pulp, and chemical processing company.
  • Represented Bacardi on issues relating to Bacardi’s rum production operations in Puerto Rico.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP's celebrated standing in cross-border M&A, involves a substantial flow of Latin America deals. It represents both multinationals and multilatinas in big-ticket transactions. It advised OLX Brazil in its R$2.9bn acquisition of Grupo ZAP; OLX Brazil is the 50/50 joint venture between Prosus and Adevinta, and is one of the fastest growing tech companies in Brazil. David Mercado has huge experience in Latin America deals, while many of his New York partners also have executed numerous deals in the region.

Practice head(s):

David Mercado

Testimonials

‘Cravath has the best team of international M&A lawyers. The business sense of its partners and attorneys is unique and makes them much more than just M&A legal counsel. They have worked on many of the largest and most complex international M&A operations and this gives Cravath unique experience and knowledge in the market. The fact that they do not focus on transaction volume, but on transaction complexity and customers makes them unique.’

‘The business sense of its partners and lawyers, and the vocation 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

HBO

IBM

Naspers

New Fortress Energy

OLX

Univision

Work highlights

  • Represented OLX Brazil in its $570m  acquisition of Grupo ZAP; OLX Brazil is the 50/50 joint venture between Prosus and Adevinta, and is one of the fastest growing tech companies in Brazil.
  • Represented HBO in its acquisition of Ole Communications’ minority stakes in HBO Ole Partners and HBO Brasil Partners.
  • Advised IBM on its acquisition of WDG Soluções Em Sistemas E Automação De Processos, a Brazilian software provider of robotic process automation.

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US)'s ability to consistently land big-ticket engagements is a testament to its growing corporate and M&A platform in Latin America and the US. Having built out its Latin America offices, including an especially strong team in Bogota, it has expanded its US-based team. The group has an extensive international corporate and private equity client base that frequently turns to it for Latin America transactions. This has resulted in a series of major mandates, such as representing Quanta Services and ATCO in their new joint venture LUMA Energy as winning bidder in the $1.6bn public-private partnership transaction to operate and maintain the transmission and distribution assets of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA). The firm's impressive Puerto Rico office had a key role in the mandate alongside Miami partner Francisco Cerezo, who is co-chair of the Latin America corporate and finance practice; he leads many of the firm's headline Latin America deals. Energy and natural resources is another key sector for the team, which brought in senior San Diego partner Raul Farias from Sempra Energy in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Francisco Cerezo; Raul Farias

Key clients

3R Petroleum

LUMA Energy

Ecolab Group

Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior (Bladex)

Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior, Sociedad

Nacional de Crédito, Institución de Banca de Desarrollo (Bancomext)

Banco Votorantim

China Construction Company

Credito Real

Globant

Delivery Technologies (Uber Chile)

Lego

Petrobras Americas

Banco Santander (Peru)

Banco Itau (Argentina)

IDB Bank, IDB Invest

OPIC

Starboard

Banco BTG Pactual

Work highlights

  • Advised Quanta Services and ATCO, in their new joint venture, LUMA Energy, as winning bidder in the $1.6bn public-private partnership transaction to operate and maintain the transmission and distribution assets of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA).
  • Advised Uber on its $456m acquisition of a majority stake (51%) in Cornershop.
  • Represented Brazilian retailer Companhia Brasileira de Distribucao’s (GPA) in its $4.7bn buyout of Colombia’s Almacenes Exito.

Greenberg Traurig LLP

Greenberg Traurig LLP‘s deepening connections to Latin America are bringing it a growing spectrum of engagements, both regionally and across transaction types. Mexico and Central America have been key regions for the firm over the years, though it is also building a flourishing practice in South America. Looking to leverage the firm's expertise and standing in sub-sectors, including SPAC-driven M&A transactions and Latin American asset managers making investments into the US,  Yosbel Ibarra is co-managing shareholder of the Miami office and is an experienced figure in Latin America M&A and corporate transactions, as is Antonio Peña. Giovanni Biscardi and of counsel Arnaldo Rego are key for cross-border Brazil transactions and mining deals. Emilio Alvarez-Farré  is another immensely experienced practitioner with extensive Latin America M&A expertise. The Latin America group also benefits from a large and impressive office in Mexico City, which has earned a significant market share of large Mexico M&A transactions.  All named individuals are based in Miami.

Practice head(s):

Marc Rossell; José Raz Guzmán

Testimonials

‘It is a firm with an excellent approach to its client, which allows it to seek unique solutions for each company. With excellent knowledge on a diversity of subjects and with an always practical approach.’

‘Excellent team. It has resources for any type of customer. 100% availability. Great ability to solve problems and advise clients in other jurisdictions on complex issues.’

‘The Greenberg team is very professional. I have worked with many law firms and in my opinion, GT has a very complete service that understands the dynamics of doing business in Latin America. They have a deep bench and experts in areas such as tax, litigation and intellectual property that help to understand the risks of companies and their application in contracts with US law. The team is readily available and knows how to deal with Latin American family groups.’

‘Yosbel Ibarra is a true statesman. He handles client relationships extremely well and has the ability to listen to what clients are looking for from him. He handles transactions very well and enlists the support of his team and colleagues.’

‘Antonio Peña is an excellent lawyer. Fully available. He is able to solve, together with the rest of the GT team, the most complex situations and challenges. Very reliable and 100% committed to the client.’

‘Arnaldo Rego has great knowledge of investment matters and is very detailed in the analysis of contractual and investment documents. Very flexible and 100% available.’ 

Key clients

Red de Carreteras de Occidente

Inversiones Consolidadas

Ocean International Reinsurance Company

Dollarcity

Astrix

Fisa Group

Amadeus IT Group

Unity Group Holdings

LLYC (Llorente & Cuenca)

Xignux

Work highlights

  • Represented Red de Carreteras de Occidente on the acquisition of 72% of its capital stock by a partnership formed between GIC Special Investment and Abertis Infraestructuras.
  • Represented Inversiones Consolidadas in connection with a co-investment with Softbank and other investors in the subscription of Series B preferred units issued by AlphaCredit, a Mexican and Colombian financial technology platform focused on payroll credit.
  • Advised Ocean International Reinsurance Company, a reinsurance company doing business in Panama, Barbados, Colombia, Mexico and Luxembourg, in its business combination with Energy Risk Indemnity Reinsurance.

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown is intensely focused on the Latin America energy sector with much of this emphasis stemming from its Houston office. Although the team has experienced a slowdown in oil and gas deals in the Mexico exploration and production sector, driven in part by the changing political climate there, it has gained further activity in renewables in Chile and elsewhere, along with oil and gas M&A and privatisations in Brazil. Financial institutions M&A is another forte for the firm globally, including in Latin America. With its sizeable office in Mexico City and its Tauil & Chequer Advogados presence in Brazil, it is well-suited to local and international law engagements in those jurisdictions. Pablo Ferrante is an experienced name in oil and gas transactions throughout Latin America. Jose Valera and Vera de Gyarfas are also key names in the oil and gas space. Carlos Motta is an experienced M&A specialist in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro's Alexandre Chequer is at the forefront of Brazil-related oil and gas transactions. Raúl Fernández-Briseño is a key figure in Mexico City. All named individuals are based in Houston unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Pablo Ferrante

Testimonials

‘They are very strong on hydrocarbons in the Houston office, as they know oil contracts very well and have a lot of experience in upstream and midstream issues.’

‘Pablo Ferrante is the partner who has a lot of knowledge of the Latin American market, which he combines in a very efficient way with his experience in the American market. That gives him a plus over other US lawyers who work on energy issues in LatAm.’

Key clients

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ),

Carlos Roberto Wizard Martins (Sforza Group)

Chevron

Eurofarma Laboratórios

Mezcal Ojo de Tigre

Petroandina Resources

Pluspetrol

Progress Resources USA

Repsol

Vista Oil and Gas

Work highlights

  • Represented ENGIE and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) in their acquisition of the remaining 10% stake in Transportadora Associada de Gás in Brazil.
  • Represented Petroandina Resources Corporation in connection with the acquisition of AGIP Oil Ecuador, the owner and operator of Block 10 located in the Amazonian Region of Ecuador, from ENI International.
  • Represented PETRONAS in the acquisition of a 50% working interest in the Tartaruga Verde and Module III Espadarte Concessions, offshore Rio de Janeiro, from Petróleo Brasileiro (Petrobras).

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has achieved further growth in the power sector, thanks in part to the Latin America group being largely centred in Houston. It is also building its standing in Brazil tech deals, with Brazil licensed Felipe Alice leading the firm's relationships with a range of emerging corporates in the jurisdiction. Private equity is another forte for the group, which operates across a wide range of industries, from real estate to financial institutions, telecoms and aviation. In 2020, the team represented Enel in its proposed purchase of certain distribution and generation companies in Peru owned by Sempra Energy. It is also increasingly active in advising Mexican high-net-worth individuals and family offices on investments in the US and elsewhere. John Crespo has extensive deal experience in Latin America, as does Humberto Padilla Gonzalez, particularly in Mexico. Washington DC's Ulises Pin is at the forefront of telecoms transactions in the region. All named individuals are based in Houston, unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Mellor; John Crespo

Testimonials

‘It is a very competent team, with a very good reputation in the market, which also covers Latin America, with excellent representation in Mexico and Brazil, having partners who are originally from those countries, with excellent relationships with clients.’

‘Very well prepared, agile, close to clients, they understand the perspectives of LatAm clients.’

Key clients

PetroRio

Aeromexico

Transtelco

Patriotic Energies and Technologies Limited

Atlas Capglo

Kellogg Brown & Root  (KBR)

Grupo Prolamsa

Lala US

Sigga USA

Work highlights

  • Represented Enel in its proposed purchase of certain distribution and generation companies in Chile and Peru.
  • Advised Patriotic Energies and Technologies on its acquisition and financing of Petrotrin, Trinidad and Tobago’s Petroleum Company.
  • Advised Grupo Coppel, Mexico’s leading retail conglomerate and its financial arm, Bancoppel, on multiple investments in the US and the Cayman Islands.

Proskauer Rose LLP

Proskauer Rose LLP impresses with its strength of Latin America-based client list, along with its range of inbound acquisitions and investments by multinationals and private equity houses. Accor, Votorantim Industrial and Frontera Energy are amongst its notable clients. Healthcare, telecoms, hospitality, media and financial institutions are key sectors for the Latin America team. Head of the group, Carlos Martinez, has some 30-years experience in Latin America M&A, including numerous deals for Frontera Energy, the Canada-listed oil and gas business with principal operations in Peru and Colombia. Daniel Ganitsky is now global co-head of the private equity/M&A practice and maintains a strong focus on Latin America; he advised British Telecommunications (BT) on its sale of selected domestic operations and infrastructure in 16 countries in Latin America to CIH Telecommunications Americas.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Martinez; Antonio Piccirillo

Testimonials

The team were very strong in dealing with a wide array of complex issues between themselves and turning well drafted documents to reflect abstract commercial agreements on a complex transaction. They were also strong in negotiations at moments when they mattered.’

‘Daniel Ganitsky is a strong negotiator, had a very good understanding of abstract levels of risk in the transaction and gave good advice throughout.’

Key clients

BTG Pactual

Accor

BTG Pactual’s Timberland Investment Group

Votorantim Industrial

Ashmore

Banco GNB Sudameris

Iochpe Maxion

Frontera Energy Corporation

Forgelight

Discovery

Work highlights

  • Advised British Telecommunications (BT) on its sale of selected domestic operations and infrastructure in 16 countries in Latin America to CIH Telecommunications Americas.
  • Represented ForgeLight, an operating and investment company led by former Viacom CFO Wade Davis, in its definitive agreement to acquire a majority ownership stake in Univision Holdings.
  • Advised Banco GNB Paraguay, a Paraguayan bank and member of the Gilinski Group’s business conglomerate, on its acquisition of Banco BBVA Paraguay, the Paraguayan unit of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria.

Winston & Strawn LLP

Winston & Strawn LLP‘s thriving Latin America M&A and private equity practice saw particular growth in outbound transactions into the US, particularly California and Texas, during 2020; this included deals out of Argentina and Brazil, notably in the food and beverages industry. Beyond M&A, the firm remains at the forefront of private equity, thanks in part to the presence of co-chair of the Latin America team Talbert Navia, a former co-head of investments for two private equity funds. He and the team are active in fund formation and buyout transactions, including recent growth in secondary deals. The Latin America group is also making an impression in SPAC transactions, including listings and de-SPAC deals. Fellow co-chair of the Latin America group Allen Miller provides additional public M&A expertise and represents some of the biggest listed companies in the region. Kevin Smith is another key team member in Latin America M&A and private equity. All named individuals are based in New York. In a significant deveopment, former Bank of America in house, Rodrigo Carvalho was hired in April 2021 to develop an affiliated foreign legal consultancy firm in Sao Paulo, which should significantly deepen the firm's involvement in Brazil-related matters; Carvalho's practice reaches across banking and finance, capital markets and corporate transactionaal work.

Practice head(s):

Allen Miller; Talbert Navia

Key clients

Barrick Gold Corporation

Fazenda Futuro

Grupo Wiese

Pura Fibra / PFG Holdings US

United Teleports

MAS Equity

S&B Holdings

Work highlights

  • Represented Grupo Wiese, a consolidated economic and business group based in Peru, in connection with its sale of 98.04% of NISA Blindados to CVC Group.
  • Represented Fazenda Futuro, the leading Brazilian producer of plant-based meats, in connection with corporate and tax planning to launch its business in the US.
  • Represented Pura Fibra, a Brazilian prebiotic/supplement water company, in expanding its operations into the US.

CMS

CMS continues to make a further impression in cross-border M&A, driven in part by the firm's global presence. The Latin America group has experienced an upsurge in distressed M&A engagements, including deals in the hotels and leisure sector, along with infrastructure, energy and renewables investments, and private equity transactions. With prominent teams in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Peru, it has strong connections to local and regional businesses, while making use of the firm's global network and relationships with US-based firms. Jorge Allende Destuet and Ramón Valdivieso are key names in Chile, Juan Carlos Escudero  is a prominent figure in Peru, Juan Camilo Rodríguez is a leader in Colombia, and Ted Rhodes is an experienced energy M&A specialist in Brazil.

Practice head(s):

Ted Rhodes; Ramón Valdivieso, Jorge Allende; Juan Camilo Rodriguez; César Lechuga, Giancarlo Schievenini; Juan Carlos Escudero; Miguel Viale

Key clients

Nueva Inversiones Pacifico Sur

Grupo Cosemar

Blackstone

Porsche Aktiengesellschaft

Enagás

Atlantica Infraestructura Sostenible

Indigo Group

Banco Santander

Sun Dreams

Polysistemas

Work highlights

  • Advised on the $160m acquisition of a 65% stake in casino operator Sun Dreams from Sun Latam.
  • Advised Atlantica Infraestructura Sostenible on the acquisition of 100% of the shares of AAGES Spain 2, a subsidiary of Algonquin Power & Utilities.
  • Advised Banco Santander on the execution of framework agreements to purchase accounts receivables from Repsol Comercial and Refineria La Pampilla.

Dechert LLP

Dechert LLP has strong connections to Latin America-based businesses, including those in Mexico, Colombia, Brazil and Chile. The firm is also especially active in private equity deals that involve Latin America assets and subsidiaries. It advised Quilvest Capital Partners on the $450m sale of its portfolio company Command Alkon to Thoma Bravo; Command Alkon is a global business and a leading concrete producer and building materials supplier in Brazil. New York partner Howard Kleinman is a recognised Latin America specialist with extensive corporate relationships in the region. Washington DC partner Bernardo Piereck is another emerging talent in Latin America deals.

Practice head(s):

Mark Thierfelder

Work highlights

  • Advised Quilvest Capital Partners on the $450m sale of its portfolio company Command Alkon to Thoma Bravo; Command Alkon is a global business and a leading concrete producer and building materials supplier in Brazil.
  • Counsel to One Equity Partners on its cross-border sale of PeroxyChem to Evonik Industries, a deal which involved Latin American subsidiaries for both companies.
  • Advised Protera, a Chilean AI-driven start-up designing and developing new proteins for the food, agriculture, environment and health industries, in connection with its $5.6m Series A financing led by Sofinnova Partners.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills is building its presence in the M&A segment, particularly in Brazil deals. While a bigger chunk of its Latin America practice centres on banking and finance, projects and energy, and international arbitration, its strong client base of infrastructure funds, special situations funds, Chinese SOEs, trading houses and a raft of mining businesses, have enabled it to build a much broader practice. With the August 2021 departure of former Latin America practice co-chair Pedro Rufino Carvalho to become GC at Patria, New York's Edward Dougherty, has been elected in his place. Primarily a finance lawyer, particularly in oil and gas, Dougherty is increasingly active in M&A; he will co-chair the regional practice alongside international arbitration partner Christian Leathley, also based in New York. Elsewhere, London-based Laura Hulett, who has particular profile for oil-and-gas deals, is also active on Latin America matters; and a number of Madrid and Asia-based partners are also frequently engaged in Latin America-related M&A.

Practice head(s):

Pedro Rufino Carvalho; Edward Dougherty; Laura Hulett

Key clients

Marubeni Corporation

Mitsubishi Corporation

Trident Energy

Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile (SQM)

Macquarie Development Corporation

Mantos Copper

Codelco

BP

Ocyan

Work highlights

  • Advised China Power International on its acquisition of Zuma Energia, Mexico’s leading independent renewables generator, which develops, finances and operates a portfolio of more than 800MW of wind and solar power projects.
  • Advised Trident Energy on the first-of-a-kind reserve-based lending financing and acquisition of Brazilian oil and gas assets from Petrobras.
  • Advised Antin Infrastructure Partners, a leading private equity firm focused on infrastructure investments, on the acquisition of a majority interest in Miya Group, a leading global efficiency-oriented water operator, from Bridgepoint.

Hogan Lovells US LLP

Hogan Lovells US LLP is best known for its work in Mexico, Central America, Ecuador and Venezuela. The firm has a sizeable team in Mexico and large Miami office that has deep connections to the region. The firm is well known for energy transactions. Juan Francisco Torres Landa leads the Latin America practice group from Mexico City. Jorge Diaz-Silveira is another key figure in Miami.

Practice head(s):

Juan Francisco Torres Landa

Holland & Knight LLP

Holland & Knight LLP has demonstrated deep commitment to Latin America over the years, in part thanks to the presence of Latin America specialists in Miami and New York, along with teams in Mexico City and Bogota (Colombia). The firm now represents a wealth of multinationals in connection with their interests and transactions in Latin America, while also advising a growing number of multilatinas. Private equity is another forte. Alberto Hernandez, George Mencio and chair of the Latin America practice group Roberto Pupo are key figures in the M&A segment, along with Aymee Valdivia, Emma Solaun and Danielle Price, the latter known for private equity and financial sponsor-led transactions. All named individuals are based in Miami.

Practice head(s):

Roberto Pupo

Testimonials

‘Knowledgeable about the local market, fully bilingual and proactive to make the transaction work.’

Holland & Knight has a team of brilliant lawyers who are always willing to give practical solutions to their clients, being extremely faithful to the interests of their clients in such a way that they will do everything correctly possible to generate positive results.’

It has a 100% bilingual team, not only from the verbal point of view, but also for the purposes of the detailed review of documents in Spanish, which differentiates them from other firms that claim to be bilingual. The other positive is that they have access to advice with a first-class team, but capable of providing their services under a much more competitive fee schedule than the larger firms.’

Excellent professionals. I work a lot with Aymee Valdivia, a partner in the Miami office, of whom I highlight her commitment, availability and good knowledge of the clients’ business.’

George Mencio, Emma Solaun, Roberto Pupo and Aymee Valdivia always demonstrate to the client that they care, striving to provide helpful legal advice in an efficient and practical manner. Knowledge of your areas of expertise and business awareness are the icing on the cake of a legal service provided by brilliant attorneys. All are truly fluent in Spanish.’

George Mencio, Roberto Pupo and Emma Solaun – daily support, transaction monitoring, experience in the area, knowledge of the Chilean market, proactivity.’

Key clients

American Tower

Laureate Education

MasTec

Mitsubishi Power Americas

Quality 1 Export

Telefonica

Trivest Partners

Work highlights

  • Represented of Mitsubishi Power Americas in the corporate rebranding of the Mitsubishi group subsidiaries in the Americas following the termination of the joint venture between Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Hitachi.
  • Represented Laureate Education in its agreement with Fundación Nasser para el Desarrollo Educativo de Centroamerica to transfer control of Fundaempresa.
  • Represented MasTec with the acquisition of a 50% interest in FM Tech Holdings, FM Tech USA Holdings and ASC Holdings, which expands its presence in Puerto Rico.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP has an excellent record in Latin America M&A, principally driven by its core Latin America team in Miami. The group has deep experience in financial services, telecoms and food and beverages transactions, among others. Fernando Alonso leads the Latin America team and is a seasoned veteran of M&A, corporate transactions and commercial agreements in the region; he led the team that advised Diageo on its various distribution agreements and arrangements through Latin America. Fernando Margarit  is a leader in telecoms and digital infrastructure matters, while Uriel Mendieta has become an established name in Latin America M&A in multiple sectors and jurisdictions.

Practice head(s):

Fernando Alonso

Testimonials

The corporate and M&A group is a highly qualified team that seeks to understand the client’s business, and considers not only the legal aspects but also the commercial and practical aspects. It is a very practical and assertive group that leads customers by the hand to meet the objective. They also know the Latin American market and understand the culture of the client and the companies that the client seeks to acquire.’

‘They are oriented to the client’s business, to understand it, support it and see beyond the rules that regulate said business. They are very practical.’

Key clients

Santander Bank

Mondelez International

RAM Telecommunications International

Diageo

Sucro Can Sourcing

Tecnicard

Finaccess Capital

CIBanco

Banco Santander International

Work highlights

  • Counsel to Diageo in its various distribution agreements and arrangements through Latin America.
  • Advised Tecnicard and its affiliates in the creation of a joint venture with counterparties in Colombia to develop and commercialise a travel industry payment platform throughout Latin America.
  • Represented PLP, the Nicaraguan group, in connection with the US bankruptcy of Payless Shoesource and its affiliates.

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP's core Latin America team, spread across its Sao Paulo and New York offices, continues to land headline corporate and M&A engagements. Much of this work now centres on the multi-skilled and versatile Matthew Poulter, who splits his time between Sao Paulo and New York; he led the team that advised Union Acquisition Corp. II, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), on its agreement to combine with Latin America's Crynssen Pharma Group (Procaps) to form a new holding company Procaps Group to be  listed on Nasdaq. Gabriel Silva left the firm in January 2021.

Milbank

Milbank has deepened its Latin America M&A and private equity credentials with the hire of Neil Whoriskey from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in September 2020, the promotion of Francisco Nuñez to partner in January 2020, followed by the elevation of Aaron Stine to the partnership in January 2021. This builds on the longer-term efforts of global corporate head John Franchini to build the firm's standing in cross-border M&A and private equity, including numerous deals involving Latin America. He and Stine recently advised Actis on the sale of the Zuma Energia renewable energy portfolio in Mexico to China’s State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC). The team is particularly known for private equity and financial sponsor-driven transactions in the energy and infrastructure sectors, a forte for the firm globally.

Practice head(s):

John Franchini

Key clients

Actis

Alberta Investment Management Corporate

Avianca Holdings

BlackRock

Blackstone

Canadian Solar

GIC Special Investment

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan

Partners Group

Saavi

SeaOne Holdings

Ser Educacional

TOTVS

Work highlights

  • Advised GIC on its joint acquisition with Abertis Infraestructuras of an a 70% stake in Red de Carreteras de Occidente from Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners.
  • Advised Ser Educacional on its agreement to acquire the Brazilian operations of Laureate Education.
  • Advised Actis on the sale of the Zuma Energia renewable energy portfolio in Mexico to China’s State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC).

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Shearman & Sterling LLP's M&A work has been somewhat overshadowed by the Latin America team's prominence in capital markets and project finance transactions. Despite that, the firm's historical commitment to the region continues to land it some important engagements, such as continuing to advise Banco Bradesco, the Brazilian bank, on its $500m acquisition of BAC Florida Bank. It also continued to represent Abertis Infraestructuras and Singapore's GIC in their acquisition of a 70% stake in Red de Carreteras de Occidente (RCO) from Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners. George Karafotias and Clare O’Brien are amongst a number of partners with Latin America M&A experience. Houston partner Manuel Orillac is also recognised for Latin America corporate and capital markets transactions. Houston counsel Gabriel Salinas is noted for oil and gas investments by private equity funds, particularly in Mexico. Alexandro Padrés leads the Latin America group. All named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Alexandro Padrés

Uría Menéndez

Uría Menéndez is a leader in Spanish law-governed transactions and continues to deepen its presence in Latin America through Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría, its associate firm in Chile, Peru and Colombia. Eduardo Rodríguez-Rovira leads the Latin America group and has over 20 years experience in the region. Juan Martín Perrotto is noted for cross-border Latin America transactions involving investments from Europe and Asia. Pablo González-Espejo is key for Brazil deals, having focused on the jurisdiction for over 20 years; he led the team that advised Telefonica on its binding offer for the mobile assets of Oi, the Brazilian telecoms operator, jointly with Telecom Italia and America Movil, in relation to the  judicial reorganisation of Oi in Brazil.

Practice head(s):

Eduardo Rodríguez-Rovira

Key clients

Telefónica

APG Asset Management

Repsol

Banco Santander

Ardian France

Invivo Grains

Full Truck Alliance Group

Telepizza

Mutua Madrileña

GlovoApp23

Work highlights

  • Advised Telefonica on its binding offer for the mobile assets of Oi, the Brazilian telecoms operator, jointly with Telecom Italia and America Movil, in relation to the  judicial reorganisation of Oi in Brazil.
  • Advised APG Asset Management on its agreement with Elecnor for APG’s acquisition a 49% stake in the Celeo group.
  • Advised Telefónica on the sale of a portfolio of 11 data centres located in seven jurisdictions (Spain, Brazil, USA, Mexico, Peru, Chile and Argentina) to a company controlled by Asterion Industrial Partners.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is a growing force in Latin America deals, especially in energy and infrastructure, insurance and technology transactions. The core US-based team, primarily in New York and Washington DC, works closely with the Paris office, which represents a number of Europe-based clients with Latin America interests. Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama and Peru are amongst its primary jurisdictions. Native Colombian Maria-Leticia Ossa Daza  leads the Latin America team and has an extensive record in the region, covering a variety of industries and jurisdictions; this includes investments in power and infrastructure projects. Washington DC partner Jorge Kamine is noted for energy and infrastructure M&A, including transactions involving metro projects, renewable energy and LNG.

Practice head(s):

Maria-Leticia Ossa Daza

Testimonials

The WF&G team has not only experience in Latin America, but also people of Latin origin with extensive experience in the region.

‘An excellent team with knowledge of the market in context of terms and good practices, with pragmatic advice.

Maria-Leticia Ossa Daza is extremely dynamic and particularly excellent at business development. She has excellent relationships in the region and has built a very good team.’

Key clients

3Pillar

Apex Group

Arroyo Energy

Atlas Holdings

BNP Paribas Cardif

CIP Capital

CMA CGM

Genstar Capital

Grupo Argos

Insight Partners

John Laing Group

Macquarie Capital

Maurel et Prom

STOA

Swiss Re

Vilmorin & Cie

Weener Plastics

Zurich Insurance Group

Work highlights

  • Represented STOA in the minority acquisition of Linha Uni, the project company entitled to carry out the São Paulo Metro Line 6 concession contract.
  • Represented John Laing Group in its $80m acquisition of a 30% stake in Colombia’s Concesionaria Ruta del Cacao, the company’s first ever investment in Latin America.
  • Advised BNP Paribas Cardif on the negotiation of a long-term bancassurance strategic alliance in Latin America with Scotiabank.

Brown Rudnick LLP

Brown Rudnick LLP has made a considerable impression in distressed M&A, building on the firm's standing in insolvency and restructuring. The Latin America team is also noted for venture capital transactions in the FinTech sector in Brazil and Argentina. The group is further recognised for its work in restructurings involving businesses that Brazilian and Argentine funds are invested in and in representing Latin America investors in targeting real estate assets in the US and Europe. Alejandro Fiuza leads the Latin America team and has an especially strong record in venture capital and private equity investments in Argentina and several other Latin American jurisdictions; he is a former partner at Marval O’Farrell Mairal, the largest firm in Argentina. Adolfo Garcia is another senior Latin America specialist, as is New York partner Clara Krivoy who is dual qualified in New York and Venezuela. Named individuals are based in Boston unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Alejandro Fiuza

Key clients

Staples

Tempur-Sealy

Endeavor Global and Endeavor Catalyst

The Catalyst Capital Group

Emmis Communications

Seaboard Corporation

Smithsonian Channel, Showtime

Draper Cygnus

Audax Management Company

Ag Processing

Icahn Enterprises

Finvest Bio / Securitas Biosciences Group

Puerto Rico Oversight Board

Work highlights

  • Advised a joint venture of Chinese companies on infrastructure construction and energy investment projects in several Latin American countries.
  • Advised LexFinance, a third-party litigation fund with operations in Latin America, on ongoing fund formation and day-to-day investment rounds and related corporate matters.  
  • Represented Endeavor Catalyst in its partial exit transaction in Cornershop, resulting in the latter’s acquisition by Uber Technologies.

Cuatrecasas

Cuatrecasas has significantly expanded its platform in Latin America with new offices in Colombia and Chile, adding to its pre-existing offices in Peru and Mexico. It followed this up in January 2021, by hiring senior M&A lawyer Roberto Guerrero and a team from Chilean firm Guerrero Olivos and Juan Felipe Vera from Baker McKenzie S.A.S. in Colombia. The fast expansion of the firm in these four key jurisdictions has enabled it to make a further mark on M&A transactions, including investments by European corporates, notably in the infrastructure, construction and energy fields. Healthcare and retail are also key sectors. The firm is also building its presence in private equity, with New York partner Antonio Baena having a key role in building relationships with other international law firms, financial sponsors and other corporates. Lima partner Oscar Trelles leads the Latin America M&A and private equity team.

Practice head(s):

Oscar Trelles

Key clients

Delivery hero

Alsur

Hudbay

Bergé y Cía

SoftwareOne

Stracon

Urbaser

AES Mexico

Grupo Renovables Agricolas

Work highlights

  • Advised Delivery Hero, the multinational online food-delivery service company on its acquisition of the Glovo business in Latin America.
  • Advised SoftwareOne on acquiring IGS Services, the parent company of the InterGrupo companies.
  • Advised Hudbay Peru on negotiating an option agreement, a shareholders’ agreement and a mining assignment agreement to acquire 70% of Anka Resources.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP remains best known for energy and infrastructure-related M&A and corporate transactions. The firm has a long track record in Latin America and a long-established office in Sao Paulo. Given its strength in white-collar crime and investigations, it is also well-suited to transactions involving anti-corruption due diligence. Tomer Pinkusiewicz is co-chair of the Latin America team and is a versatile practitioner, covering corporate and financing transactions, principally in the energy and infrastructure sectors. The arrival of Marwan Azzi from White & Case LLP in August 2021 is a major boost to its private equity credentials in the Latin America energy and infrastructure segments.

Practice head(s):

Lisa Alfaro, Jose Fernandez, Tomer Pinkusiewicz

Other key lawyers:

Marwan Azzi

Work highlights

  • Advised GS Infrastructure Partners II on the sale of its interest held in Autopistas Metropolitanas de Puerto Rico (Metropistas) to Ullico.
  • Represented infrastructure solutions provider Cell Site Solutions, a Goldman Sachs portfolio company headquartered in São Paulo, in its sale to IHS Holding.
  • Acted for PJT Partners as financial advisor to Avon Products, in its acquisition by Natura Cosmeticos, the São Paulo-headquartered global personal care cosmetics group.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP

McDermott Will & Emery LLP has a notable private client and family office driven practice, with key team members having extensive experience in international tax and pre-immigration matters. Much of the practice centres on Latin America private equity and real estate fund formation, and subsequent investments in the US. Miami partner Michael Silva has a deep focus on Brazil, while Dallas partner Manuel Rajunov previously practised in Mexico City and has extensive client contacts across the region, including in Chile and Colombia. Real estate and healthcare are particular areas of activity for the Latin America team; the firm is a world leader in healthcare.

Practice head(s):

Michael Silva; Manuel Rajunov 

Key clients

Real estate developer owned by Latin American family

Work highlights

  • Represented a real estate developer of waterfront condominiums in Miami, on a series of transactions.

Morrison & Foerster

Morrison & Foerster's nascent Miami office has a principal focus on M&A, private equity and venture capital with especially close connections to SoftBank Vision Fund II and SoftBank Latin America Fund; the Miami partners previously worked alongside Patricia Menendez Cambo, the current general counsel at SoftBank Latin America Fund, before they left Greenberg Traurig LLP in 2019. The highly prominent Randy Bullard co-chairs the Latin America group, which includes senior names Alexandra Aguirre and Juan Delgado.

Practice head(s):

Randy Bullard; Ruti Smithline

Key clients

Andean Telecom Partners

PetLove

SoftBank Group Corp.

Inchcape

Visa

MesoAmerica

Lazard

Peninsula Investments

WE Family Offices

Grupo Terra

Grupo Poma

Work highlights

  • Advised Brazilian pet products online retailer PetLove in its merger with DogHero, another Brazilian pet services business.
  • Advised SoftBank Group on the $225m Series C financing of Kavak, an online platform for buying and selling second hand cars in Mexico and Argentina.
  • Represented SoftBank Group in the $108m Series B financing of Acesso Digital, the Brazilian IDTech pioneer in ID protection solutions.

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP's flourishing Latin America practice is substantial driven by growth company and venture capital work in Brazil. Since joining the firm in 2019, Jackson Hwu, a Brazilian native, has become co-chair of the Latin America group, frequently advising emerging Brazilian entities on  series A financing rounds through to M&A deals. Partners Leandro Molina and Caio Prado are also Brazilian natives and are key members of his group, which is also at the forefront of fund formation for entities looking to invest in technology (including fintech), the cannabis industry and other sectors. Co chair of the Latin America group John Haley is also noted for M&A and corporate restructurings in Spanish speaking jurisdictions.

Practice head(s):

Jackson Hwu; John Hale

Key clients

Internet Media Services

Decorati Building Tech Holding

Avenger Flight Group

Chromo Ventures Fund

Camilo Cola Filho

CyberLabs AI

Rail-Botic USA

Mandae Technologies

FJDL

ODINSA

Work highlights

  • Represented Chromo Ventures Fund as one of the lead investors in the $90m Series C preferred equity financing round of Loadsmart, a US AI platform for trucking logistics.
  • Assisted IMS with a number of strategic Latin American acquisitions and corporate matters, including advising in connection with a current merger opportunity with a well-known media company headquartered in Miami that operates throughout Latin America.
  • Advised Avenger on flight simulator agreements with Grupo Aeromexico, as part of Grupo Aeromexico’s corporate restructuring.

Ropes & Gray LLP

Ropes & Gray LLP continues to impress in private equity investments and private equity portfolio company M&A, along with strategic M&A transactions for corporates. The firm is also at the forefront of Latin America fund formation engagements, and has an extensive record in anti-corruption due diligence for M&A deals. The Carlyle Group, HIG Capital and Wynnchurch Capital are key clients. Matthew Posthuma is co-chair of the Latin America group and is a leader in fund formation.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Posthuma; Nicholas M. Berg; María González Calvet

Testimonials

Ropes & Gray is an extraordinary law firm that brings together high talent with very significant experience in their areas of practice and outstanding customer service. Their attention to the global objectives of each operation, as well as their ability to attend to the details and efficiently coordinate each matter they perform, clearly makes them a firm of choice.’

‘High quality of service, immediate availability, kindness, in-depth knowledge of the client and of the businesses in particular and high organisational capacity.’

Outstanding partner Matthew Posthuma is an extraordinary lawyer with extensive experience and vast knowledge, particularly in areas related to investment funds, private equity and M&A.’

Key clients

The Carlyle Group

HIG Capital

Wynnchurch Capital

Work highlights

  • Represented The Carlyle Group in the sale through a cash tender offer for a 75% stake in Hermes Transportes Blindados to CVC Capital Partners.
  • Advised HIG Capital and its portfolio company, Wastequip, on the add-on acquisition of the container division of Confab, through a carveout asset acquisition of Confab’s US entity and a stock acquisition of Confab’s Mexico entity.
  • Represented Wynnchurch Capital in its acquisition of Labrie Environmental Group, a leading waste hauler manufacturer with operations in Mexico, Canada, and the US.

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP has tight links to the Latin America region, principally through its New York and Houston offices. While much of the Latin America practice centres on energy, the firm does have rounded experience in multiple sectors. It advised Spanish-language media company Univision Communications and its parent company, Univision Holdings, on Univision’s acquisition of the content and media business of Televisa, the Mexican multimedia mass media company. Houston partner Brian Bradshaw is an experienced figure in Latin America oil and gas transactions and New York's Alyssa Grikscheit is noted for private equity and fund-related M&A.

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP has longstanding roots into Latin America, particularly in energy (including oil and gas) transactions. It has further deepened these connections in recent years, including through the January 2021 hire of Brazil and New York qualified partner Gabriel Silva from Linklaters LLP along with a group of associates; Silva specialises in Brazil deals and has intensive experience in digital infrastructure transactions. Alongside him is Eamon Nolan, another experienced Latin America specialist, particularly in Mexico power and renewables transactions. In Houston, Mark Brasher is also noted for power deals, which includes a number of engagements from New Fortress Energy. Named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise. Boyd Carano has retired.

Practice head(s):

Eamon Nolan; Gabriel Silva

Key clients

Talos Energy

Digital Colony

Highline do Brasil

Scala Data Centers

Vantage Data Centers

Exxon Mobil Corporation

Pattern Energy Group Holdings

Equinor (formerly Statoil)

Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets

IFM Investors

Aleatica

New Fortress Energy

California Resources Corporation

Hygo Energy Transition

Work highlights

  • Represented NFEnergía, a New Fortress Energy company, in the negotiation of agreements to convert the Units 5 and 6 at the San Juan Power Plant from fuel oil to natural gas burning turbines and to develop and construct modular LNG import and regasification facilities in San Juan Harbor.
  • Represented New Fortress Energy in the negotiation and a successful execution of an agreement for the development of a new gas-fired power plant and associated LNG import facilities in Puerto Sandino, Nicaragua.
  • Represented New Fortress Energy in the development of floating LNG import and regasification facilities, and associated pipelines, power plant and transmission facilities in Baja, Mexico.