Corporate and M&A in Mexico
Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. 'excels' in 'understanding the needs of the client, and the level of detail of the lawyers analysis and delivery of documents for M&A transactions is very concise'. Domestic and international blue-chip corporates and private equity funds regularly use the 'solid, agreeable, emphatic and objective' team for their most business-critical matters, including mergers, joint ventures, restructurings, privatisations, and spin-offs. Jean Michel Enriquez leads the highly-rated six-partner team, which helped close over 40 M&As in 2018 - outstripping its competitors in both volume and value of instructions. The practice is in great demand as Mexican counsel on the most prestigious international and global deals; it recently advised Merck on the Mexican aspects of the €3.4bn sale of its global consumer health business to Procter & Gamble; Nidec on its $1.08bn acquisition of compressor business Embraco, including its Mexican subsidiaries, from Whirlpool; and Cinven on the $2.3bn sale of the Spanish and Latin American businesses of fibre optics and network infrastructure group Ufinet to Antin Infrastructure Partners and to one of its own controlled funds, Cinven Ltd. Other matters included advising RLH Properties on its $57m acquisition of four luxury hotels and a golf course from OHL, and ACCO Brands Corporation on the $31m acquisition of school and craft products manufacturer GOBA Internacional. Key partners within the team include Eduardo González, Jorge Montaño, Iker Arriola ('gets the best results'), Carlos del Río ('very open with his communication and detailed in his analysis'), and Humberto Botti.
Galicia Abogados S.C.'s 'extraordinary and well-rounded team' is one of the legal market's top destinations for high-end corporate and transactional advice. The firm's popularity is demonstrated by the calibre of the deals it is regularly instructed on, many of which are the largest the market has to offer. Ignacio Pesqueira and José Visoso jointly lead the ten partner team, which represents clients across almost every sector. Recently the firm advised Actis on the US$1.25bn acquisition of Intergen's Mexico portfolio, including six combined-cycle natural gas fired generation facilities. The firm also advised Citibanamex, a Citigroup subsidiary, on the sale of its asset management business to BlackRock. Other key clients include General Atlantic, Monex, and Bunge. Key partners include name partner Manuel Galicia and Christian Lippert ('top quartile attorneys for M&A'), and Ramiro Sandoval.
Mijares, Angoitia, Cortés y Fuentes S.C. has a top-notch reputation for cutting edge corporate finance work, and its clients benefit from a deep nine-partner team. The 'proactive' lawyers 'work under tight timelines' and represent an impressive mix of domestic and international clients, including some of the most active private equity funds in Mexico. Recently the team advised the Mexican-listed company, Alpek, on the US$801m sale of two cogeneration energy plants to Contour Global. The practice also advised GGI INV, a special purpose vehicle formed by several shareholders of Rassini, on its $666m bid for the remaining listed stock in order to take the company private. The firm boasts an array of talent, including name partners Pablo Mijares and Francisco Fuentes. Other key individuals include Ricardo Maldonado ('fantastic language skills and always takes a sensible approach'), Patricio Trad, and the 'strategic, smart, hardworking' Eugenio Macouzet.
Nader, Hayaux y Goebel, SC is a top choice for complex corporate matters, including major M&As, joint ventures, spin-offs and private equity buyouts. The 'very professional' 11-partner team is praised for 'understanding the business', and has a strong bench of highly experienced partners, including the firm's founders Michell Nader, Hans Goebel, and Yves Hayaux-Du-Tilly, who is 'an expert in insurance matters'. Recently the firm advised Singapore-based CMIG International, as Mexican counsel on its US$300m acquisition of the Latin American insurance and fund management business of Old Mutual Life. The team also acted for Grupo Diagnostico Proa on the US$80m sale of a 32% stake in Labatorios Chopo to Temasek and LIV Capital. Other key partners in the team include Julián Garza , who 'in addition to having extensive experience, is a lawyer dedicated to customer service', and Luciano Pérez Gómez. International clients also benefit from the firm's London office.
Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. has a first class practice that is often selected to advise on the country's largest corporate deals. Lately the firm has been involved in several major transactions in the financial services sector, such as advising Banorte on its US$3bn-plus merger with Interacciones, the largest such merger in the Mexican financial services market. The firm also advised UBS on its sale of Grupo Financiero UBS to Afirmo Grupo Financiero. The team is also active in private equity and represented Linzor Capital on its acquisition of the online Mexican university, UTEL. Carlos Obregón Rojo leads the 24-strong practice group, including seven partners. Luis Nicolau and Rodrigo Conesa (who also has a strong niche advising real estate investment funds), Jean Paul Farah and Eduardo Triulzi are all high profile practitioners.
Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C. has an exhaustive corporate offering, both in terms of its services and its geographic reach, with offices Mexico City, Juarez, Guadalajara, Monterrey and Tijuana. Clients appreciate the 'far superior knowledge and expertise', while noting that the 'personal attention given by the partners really makes a difference'. Recently the 'excellent' team advised Unilever on the local aspects of the sale of its baking, cooking and spreads operation to KKR, as part of a €6.8bn global carve-out. Another highlight was advising Magna Closures on its takeover of the auto components manufacturer Olsa Sistemas de Iluminación Automitriz. Jorge Ruíz co-heads the 14-partner team with Carlos Valencia. Other key partners include Tatiana Escribano, and in Monterrey, Jose Maria Gonzalez-Elizondo.
Basham, Ringe y Correa, S.C. has a high quality national practice, with well established offices in Mexico City, Monterrey, and Queretaro. This footprint was expanded in early 2018 with the opening of a new office in the city of León, in Guanajuato. The practice group carries out a mix of day-to-day and transactional advice for its domestic and international clients. Key mandates over the last year saw it represent Sealed Air Corporation on the Mexican aspects of its takeover of the Fagerdala Group; and ExxonMobil on its recent $300m investment into Mexico, which included the opening of over 50 service stations. The highly rated Daniel Del Rio leads the M&A team, while lawyers such as managing partner Juan Jose Lopez de Silanes, energy head Juan Carlos Serra, Amilcar Garcia, and Monterrey's Carlos Velazquez de Leon are all highly sought after.
Among the international firms, DLA Piper Gallastegui y Lozano has one of the most well-established corporate practices in the market, thanks in part to the expertise of office managing partner Eduardo Gallastegui and Gerardo Lozano Alarcón. Added to this is the firm's impressive international network, which ensures a constant flow of mandates from foreign companies investing in the country. The firm has handled a lot of deals in the financial services sector, including advising QBE on the US$40m sale of its Mexican insurance business to Zurich. In the manufacturing sector the team advised polypropylene film manufacturer Taghleef Industries on its multimilion-dollar acquisition of Biofilm, which has plants in Mexico and Colombia. Other key partners include Jorge Benejam, Maria Rios, Edgar Romo, Diego Martinez, and Xavier Mangino Dueñas.
González Calvillo, SC fields an experienced team of lawyers with strong expertise in corporate and private equity acquisitions, restructurings, and compliance work. With a bench of nine partners the practice has capacity to act on a large volume of deals and is regularly referred work by foreign firms. Recently the team advised KIO Networks on the US$500m sale of its telecoms subsidiary to American Tower Corporation. Another highlight was advising United Plastics Group, a subsidiary of Viant, on the acquisition of the Mexican assets of Integer Holdings Corporation, as part of Viant's global takeover of Integer. Key partners include José Victor Torres , Jaime Cortés and José Ignacio Rivero Andere. Miguel Valle exited to Chévez, Ruiz, Zamarripa y Cía SC in September 2019; the same month, the firm was also appointed as the sole Mexican law-firm founding member of the Brazil-Mexico Business Council.
Greenberg Traurig, S.C. has very good experience advising clients on transactions in the infrastructure, natural resources, manufacturing and financial services sectors. The group also 'stands out from the crowd when speaking on compliance matters in Latin America'. On the infrastructure front, the firm advised MXT Capital Partners and Mexico Infrastructure Partners on the US$196m acquisition of 72 telecoms towers from Maxcom Telecomunicaciones. The team also represented NYSE-listed Stepan Company on an agreement with SF Mexicana to acquire its surfactant production facility in Mexico. Recently appointed co-chair of the firm's Latin America practice, José Raz Guzmán leads the team which also includes Victor Manuel Frías, Arturo Pérez Estrada and the 'outstanding' Hugo López-Coll.
Hogan Lovells is one of the leading international firms in the market, serving as a great entry point into Mexico for its international clients, as well as a stepping stone towards the exterior for domestic entities. The firm has invested heavily in its practice, not just in the capital, but also in Monterrey, where Guillermo González and Jorge Yáñez are both active. In Mexico City, key partners include the highly rated Juan Francisco Torres Landa , Ricardo Pons, Federico de Noriega and Carlos Ramos. Recently the team advised Invermat on the US$80m sale of the specialty container manufacturer, Envases y Laminados. Another highlight was advising Repsol Downstream Internacional on the $65m acquisition of a 40% stake in Bardahl de Mexico.
Jones Day 'has a broad number of professionals that can provide support in complex matters like M&A and compliance.' Clients appreciate the 'very important personalization of services', and the team's 'very valuable partners' including practice head Mauricio Castilla, Antonio Franck, Javier Martínez del Campo, and Manuel Romano. The office works closely with the firm's wider international network and is especially active in the energy sector. Recently it advised Savage Companies on the local aspects of its merger with Bartlett and Company to form Savage Enterprises. Another highlight was representing Enesa on the sale of Selmec Equipos Industriales, a manufacturer of diesel and natural gas generators, to Generac Holdings.
Santamarina y Steta offers an extremely strong national practice, with 44 corporate lawyers working out of Querétaro, Monterrey and Mexico City. The firm represents a broad mix of domestic and international clients on day-to-day matters, including compliance, and also has a good track record in joint ventures and mid-market M&A. Recent matters include advising Grupo Industrial Saltillo on the $217m sale of its subsidiaries Calentadores de America, Fluida and Water Heating Technologies. Clients benefit from a deep bench of highly experienced partners, including Jorge Barrero , Juan Carlos Machorro, Alberto Saavedra, Carlos Argüelles and Jorge León-Orantes in Mexico City and along with César Cruz Ayala and José Ramón Ayala in Monterrey and Querétaro, respectively. Other clients include Grupa Azoty, Aterian Investment Partners Reix Corp, Pluscorp, Rok Mobile, Cabot Corporation and Grupo Industrial Monclova.
Von Wobeser y Sierra, SC has strong relationships with some of the leading domestic and international corporates operating in Mexico. Its expertise ranges across M&A, joint ventures and divestitures, as well as key ancillary areas such as anti-corruption, antitrust, banking and capital markets. It recently advised Arrendadora Avance on the sale of its majority stake in Monex and, in another highlight, counselled automotive products manufacturer Takata de Mexico on the Mexican aspects of the $1.6bn sale of its global assets and operations to Key Safety Systems. Luis Burgueño heads the highly-rated team, which also includes Javier Lizardi, Rupert Hüttler, Andrés Nieto and the recently promoted Pablo Saez.
White & Case S.C. has 'a great compliance and corporate team that delivers high quality advice', to both major domestic and international corporations. The firm has also invested heavily in its private equity capabilities, a move that has started to pay dividends with major instructions. The practice has been especially active in the financial services sector and recently advised Grupo Financiero Banorte on its US$1.4bn acquisition of Grupo Financiero Interacciones, becoming the second largest financial group in Mexico in the process. The team also represented Blackrock on its acquisition of Citibanamex's asset management business. The seven-partner team includes the highly rated Vicente Corta, Álvaro Garza-Galván, María Teresa Fernández Labardini ('one of the best lawyers I have worked with'), Henri Capin Gally, and Francisco García-Naranjo.
Creel Abogados, SC has a good reputation for corporate and private equity work, regularly advising on M&As, joint ventures, and strategic alliances, as well as compliance and other day-to-day issues. It recently advised Shandong Ruyi International Fashion Industry Investment Holding on the Mexican aspects of its US$2.3bn acquisition of Invista's Apparel & Advanced Textiles business. Another highlight was representing Whirlpool on the local aspects of its sale of its compressor business, Embraco, to Nidec Corporation. Carlos Creel is very well respected in the market.
Meritas alliance member Cuesta Campos y Asociados S.C. has a growing presence throughout the country, with offices in Mexico City, Guadalajara, and León, which is a key hub for the automotive industry. Clients rate the 'prepared, knowledgeable, available and thorough' team whose 'highly-trained' lawyers are 'quick learners and make the best use of resources'. As well as transactional matters, the firm also advises on anti-corruption issues. Recently the team advised Crocs on the closure of its operations in Mexico. It also represented satellite internet services company IsoTropic Networks on the establishment of its operations in Mexico. Hugo Cuesta leads the team, which includes the highly-rated Azucena Marín.
Garrigues has a growing presence and is an increasingly popular choice with Mexican, Spanish and US clients, particularly for cross-border transactions. Recently the firm advised the IT and engineering consultants, Alten Europe, on the Mexican aspects of its acquisition of Optimissa Group from Pontinez Cloud. Another highlight was advising Desarrollos Empresariales Hlemeon on the sale of the IT and HR consultancy, Gesfor Mexico, to GFI Informatique. The team also guided JCDecaux through the corporate reorganization of its subsidiaries in Mexico. Gerardo Lemus leads the well-regarded team.
Jáuregui y Del Valle, S.C. is recommended for its expertise on a wide range of matters, including M&A, corporate governance, distribution agreements and restructurings. The five-partner team is led by the experienced Miguel Ishii Yokoyama and includes María del Pilar Labastida and Citlali Perez. The team recently advised Grupo Holzer on its acquisition of a 16.5% stake in the Soho Mall, which is under construction in Panama. As well as advising corporates, the group also represents a growing number of private equity funds, including Walton CKD, which it advised on the corporate aspects of its acquisition of the Hotel Hilton Los Cabos.
Kuri Breña, Sánchez Ugarte y Aznar offers clients a 'great team with great results', particularly for transactional matters such as M&A, private equity buyouts and joint ventures. Recently it advised Gazsur, a joint venture between Grupo Infra and Air Products, on its $100m acquisition of a hydrogen plant from Pemex Transformación Industrial. The team also acted as Mexican counsel to ONCAP on the domestic aspects of its $370m global takeover of Walter Surface Technologies. Clients benefit from a deep and talented partner bench, including Daniel Kuri Breña, Luis Octavio Núñez, and Jesús Sánchez Ugarte . Guillermo Garay is considered 'an excellent attorney who handles complex transactions with ease'.
Robles Miaja, SC
Corporate boutique Robles Miaja, SC has built an extremely strong reputation for advising some of Mexico's largest companies, Telmex and América Móvil being two of the most high profile. The team's expertise encompasses capital markets, regulatory advice, and domestic and cross-border M&A. Founding partner Rafael Robles has developed an enviable track record.
Sánchez Devanny 's well-regarded corporate team handles a broad range of work, including advice on joint ventures, M&A, corporate governance and compliance. With lawyers in Mexico City, Monterrey and Queretaro, the firm represents a wide selection of manufacturing and automotive clients. Major clients include Nissan, which it recently advised on its negotiations with JV-partner Daimler to increase the production capacity at their jointly operated facility, Cooperation Manufacturing Plant Agascalientes. Key partners include Jose Antonio Postigo-Uribe, Cristina Sanchez-Vebber, along with Monterrey-based Gerardo Prado-Hernandez and managing partner Humberto Morales-Barron.
SOLCARGO acted on over $410m worth of M&A transactions over the past year for a wide range of foreign and domestic corporates. The firm is also doing an increasing amount of work for funds clients, where co-heads Fernando Eraña and Luis González are experienced in venture capital and private equity work, respectively. A notable highlight was advising Newell Brands on the US$400m merger of two Mexican subsidiaries - Newell Rubbermaid de México and Sunbeam Mexicana - into one company. Senior associatea Juan Carlos Izaza Avila and Rodrigo Muñoz D are both noted. Other clients include Tenedora Reyor, Ideas y Capital UNO, and Dunross & Co.
Chávez Vargas Minutti Abogados is a well-regarded corporate boutique with a strong track record advising corporates, banks, and private equity funds on a wide range of issues, including buyouts, mergers, financings, and capital markets. The team is also known for its advice on the structuring of trusts. The firm's name partners José Antonio Chávez and Brian Minutti have both earned strong reputations in this area.
Deloitte Legal Mexico
Deloitte Legal Mexico has a 'professional team with great experience in M&A' and 'outstanding customer service'. The 'very birght, knowledgeable and thorough' lawyers are highly experienced in major cross-border M&As, joint ventures and restructurings. Recent highlights include advising on a major restructuring for a client in the commodities sector. The team also advised a client on the acquisition of a major electrical manufacturing company. Key lawyers in the team include practice head Cesar Morales, 'well known' Ramon Bravo, and Diego Valdes ('remarkable legal and financial skills'). Major clients include Agroindustrias Unidas De Mexico, Agrinos, Eude, and GM Capital.
Holland & Knight has built up a strong local practice, now led by the highly rated Luis Rubio. The team handles a broad mix of domestic, regional and international matters for its diverse range of clients. Notable highlights include advising Water Surface Technologies, an affiliate of Canada's Walter Group, on the Mexican aspects of its sale to private investment fund ONCAP. As well as high-profile transactional matters, the team provides regular day-to-day counsel to a long list of international clients, including Dufry and UPS. Other key partners include Octavio Lecona and Alejandro Landa, who is well regarded for his energy expertise.
Müggenburg, Gorches y Peñalosa, S.C. (MGPS) handles a broad mix of day-to-day and transactional matters from its Mexico City office, the product of a sizeable client-base in the automotive, pharmaceutical and media sectors in particular; the practice group also stands out for its strong expertise in areas such as franchising. Carlos Müggenburg heads the team, which also includes the experienced Pablo Gómez Sáinz. Clients include Goods Foods Group, Litobel, PC Biologics, and Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec.
Rico, Robles, Libenson, S.Cl has a 'great M&A and corporate team' that is 'always trying to find solutions' and is 'comprised of some of the most brilliant younger legal minds in the country'. Among the partners, Ivan Libenson is 'a very smart lawyer with a sense for making things happen'. The firm has been advising Diageo on its Mexican investment program which has included a joint venture with Mezcal Unión and its acquisition of Mezcal Pierde Almas. Other key clients include Wal-Mart, Aegon, and Grupo Aldesa.
Romo Paillés, S.C. is a corporate boutique that regularly handles complex transactional mandates on behalf of corporate clients and investment funds. Its partners -including Rafael Romo, María Teresa Paillés, who has a strong niche in corporate real estate work, and María Esther Rey - have strong backgrounds as in-house counsel and past trajectories at international firms. The team recently advised Hymas Villazul on its $4.5m takeover by Garabe Bawi Capital. The team also advised Grupo Devlyn and its shareholders on the $34m repurchase of Linzor Capital Partners' stake in the company.
SMPS Legal advises clients at every level, including major corporates and start-ups, and has expertise across a range of areas, from the transactional to the regulatory. It recently advised Canadian logistics and gas distribution company, Atco Group on the $20m acquisition of a Mexican manufacturer of modular and mobile units. Other clients include General Electric, Nexxus Capital, and AC Nielsen. Eduardo Pizarro, Alejandro Ortiz and Iván Pérez jointly lead the well-respected team.
Vázquez Aldana, Hernández Gómez & Asociados has one of the leading corporate practices in Guadalajara, Mexico's second city. and a strong presence throughout the west of the Republic. The firm serves a large base of manufacturing, technology and food producer clients, as well as key tequila producers such as Paradise Spirits. Practice head Fernando Hernández Gómez is a 'great consultant who stands out for his experience'. The 11 lawyer team is praised for its 'excellent communication and commitment', as well as the 'quality of not only its partners but of its associates'. Major clients include Able Dairies, Grupo Beckman, Citibanamex and Mannesmann Precision Tubes.