Capital markets: Debt in Spain
Allen & Overy
Allen & Overy is experienced in handling medium-term note programmes, and infrastructure and project bonds. For example, it advised Banco Santander, as arranger, on the establishment of Prosegur Cash's euro medium-term note (EMTN) programme and its debt issue. It handled numerous EMTN programme updates, including for BNP Paribas as arranger of Amadeus’ programme. Another highlight was assisting ACS Servicios, Comunicaciones y Energía with the issuance of €750m of green notes. Charles Poole-Warren and Salvador Ruiz Bachs are leading individuals and Santiago de Vicente, Iñigo del Val and Fernando Torrente are also key names. Alvaro Rojo was promoted to senior associate in May 2018.
Clifford Chance has 'access to a vast number of deals through its worldwide network' and goes 'beyond expectations in terms of quality and dedication'. It advised the managers, including Crédit Agricole and HSBC, in connection with the €750m debut green bond issue of ACS Servicios, Comunicaciones y Energía. The group also stands out for its securitisation and structured finance expertise, with 'high performer' José Cuenca and Eduardo García the names to note. Yolanda Azanza is 'very professional and knowledgeable' and senior associate Jesús Quesada is also noted. Carlos Pérez Dávila, previously a senior associate with the firm, joined Pérez-Llorca as a partner in 2019.
Cuatrecasas is experienced in acting on securitisations, project bond issues and the registration of commercial paper programmes with the alternative fixed income market (MARF). It regularly advises Sareb on debt transactions, recently acting for the client on the issuance of bonds totalling over €24bn. Another highlight was assisting Gestamp with the issuance of a €400m high-yield bond. Héctor Bros and Rafael Mínguez co-lead the practice, which also includes Miguel Cruz Ropero, who made partner in April 2018, and Jaime de la Torre.
J&A Garrigues SLP is highly rated for handling high-yield operations and securitisation transactions. For example, it advised Grupo Cortefiel on the first high-yield issuance of €600m. Another highlight was assisting BBVA with the sale of $1bn preferred tier 1 securities in the US market, as well as with other issues and sales of securities. Gonzálo García-Fuertes is recommended along with team co-leaders Álvaro López-Jorrín and Mónica Martín.
Linklaters offers full-service Spanish, US and English law capability from Madrid, enabling it to handle large and complex international debt transactions. For example, it advised on the largest-ever European photovoltaic project bond when it was retained by Vela Energy to handle the issue of its €74m guaranteed senior secured bonds. Another highlight was assisting Barclays, as structuring adviser and lead manager, with €1.25bn securities issued by CaixaBank. Jorge Alegre and Iñigo Berricano are key advisers, and managing associate Pablo Medina and Juan María Lamo, who was promoted to counsel in April 2018, are also recommended.
Uría Menéndez frequently cooperates with foreign firms to advise on multinational transactions. For example, it worked together with a US firm when advising Banco Santander on the issuance of $2.5bn in second-ranking senior securities listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Other work included advising Telefónica Emisiones on the issuance of fixed-rate senior notes. Practice head Rafael Sebastián, Javier Redonet and counsel Carolina Albuerne are key names.
CMS Albiñana y Suárez de Lezo was busy advising on the issuance of bonds, an area where Banco Sabadell was a client. In another example, the team assisted Beka Finance and Bankinter, as managers and placers, with Audax Energía's second bonds issue worth €65m. Banco Santander, Novo Banco and Deutsche Bank are also clients. Counsel Ignacio Ramos joined from Clifford Chance in July 2018 and now works together with the renowned Carlos Peña. Íñigo Hernáez, formerly a senior associate with the firm, is now with Gómez-Acebo & Pombo.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer provides Spanish, English and US law advice. It acted for real estate group Inmobiliaria Colonial on the financing of its public takeover bid for Axiare Patrimonio, which involved two unsecured senior bond issuances and the sale of newly issued and existing shares via an accelerated bookbuild offering to institutional investors. The group also updated EMTN programmes for clients such as Amadeus (€2.4bn), Merlin Properties (€5bn) and Iberdrola (€20bn). Armando Albarrán and Ana López are recommended.
Gómez-Acebo & Pombo is known for handling securitisation transactions. Other recent highlights include assisting a syndicate of lenders with the €1.2bn restructuring and refinancing of debt held by Abengoa to avoid the public company's insolvency. The group also advised Smurfit Kappa on the refinancing of senior notes issued in January 2017. The names to note are Miguel Lamo de Espinosa, Ángel Varela, Guillermo Guerra and Santiago Gómez-Acebo. Íñigo Hernáez was a new arrival from CMS Albiñana y Suárez de Lezo.
Latham & Watkins LLP was busy handling note and bond issuances in 2017 and 2018. For example, it assisted Morgan Stanley with the issuance of floating-rate senior secured notes and, in a separate matter, advised the initial purchasers, including Bankia and Banco Santander, in connection with Haya Real Estate’s issuance of €475m of senior secured notes. Ignacio Gómez-Sancha leads the group, which also includes Ignacio Pallarés.
Pérez-Llorca advised Cortefiel on the corporate governance implications arising from the issuance of €275m of senior secured notes and €325m of floating-rate senior notes. It also advised packaging solutions company Ardagh Group on the issuance of senior notes and assisted alternative investment manager Ben Oldman Partners with the design of a securitisation structure. Julio Lujambio leads the team, in which Javier Gómez made partner in January 2018 and Pablo González Mosqueira is recommended. Carlos Pérez Dávila was a new arrival from Clifford Chance in 2019.
White & Case LLP 'certainly knows how to navigate several complex issues involving different jurisdictions' with a team of UK, US and Spain trained lawyers, some of them dual qualified. It advised CaixaBank on the issuance of €1.25bn additional tier 1 preferred securities listed on the regulated fixed-income market AIAF. Another highlight was assisting JP Morgan, as one of the global coordinators, with the €1.57bn project bond financing for the construction of the Superstrada Pedemontana Veneta toll road. Juan Manuel de Remedios and Yoko Takagi, who 'masters every step of any debt transaction', are recommended. José Blanco left to join Ramón y Cajal Abogados in October 2018.
Fernando Navarro and Manuel López lead Ashurst LLP's capital markets practice, which can count on the support of a UK law team based in Madrid. It assisted the joint lead managers, including Barclays and Merrill Lynch, with the issue of €500m Santander Consumer Finance notes under its €10bn EMTN programme.
Baker McKenzie regularly handles bond issuances in the main and alternative investment markets. For example, it assisted Cajamar with a €750m mortgage-covered bonds issuance and advised Beka Finance, as global coordinator and sole bookrunner, on Solaria Casiopea's €9.2m project bond issuance. Enrique Carretero and associate Ignacio Corujo are key practitioners.
DLA Piper LLP's international network enables the group to handle multi-jurisdictional transactions. Atlantia has been keeping the group busy: it retained the team to advise on the takeover bid launched for all shares of Abertis and to assist with the issuance of notes under its EMTN programme. Iñigo Gómez-Jordana is a renowned professional in the capital markets arena.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP assisted RBS, as lender, with Redexis Gas' refinancing of its €300m revolving credit facility and capex facility with the same amount. In the context of First Quantum Minerals' issuance of senior notes with an aggregate principal amount of up to $4bn, the group advised the issuer on the granting of guarantees by its Spanish subsidiaries. Alberto Frasquet and Pablo García-Nieto co-lead the practice.
Ramón y Cajal Abogados advised Abanca, as sponsor, on the securitisation and simultaneous issuance of securitisation bonds backed by €900m-worth of credit rights. Another highlight was assisting Liberbank with updating its €5bn 2017 debt programme base prospectus. Francisco Palá Laguna and Carlos Lao are the names to note.
Simmons & Simmons advised BBVA on several matters, such as the issuance of a series of registered loan participation notes and the annual update of a structured medium-term note programme. Banco Santander is also a returning client. Alfredo de Lorenzo is 'committed to making deals happen' and 'very capable of turning negative situations around'.