Banking and finance in Uruguay
‘Adaptable and flexible’, FERRERE remains a go-to firm for its comprehensive coverage of the banking and finance sector, with strong skill sets across traditional lending, structured finance, debt capital markets, project finance, banking M&A, and regulatory matters. The group, which is widely acclaimed for its ‘strong industry knowledge and experience’, is led by sector specialist Diego Rodríguez, who brings to bear over two decades of experience in the area. Among his recent highlights, Rodríguez advised DirecTV on the local aspects of its $1bn notes offering — newly promoted partner Sebastián Ramos, together with senior associates Federico Lemos and José Lima, provided capable support on the deal. On the project finance side, Rodríguez paired up with energy and infrastructure expert Gonzalo Secco to advise Atlas Renewable Energy on the $114m refinancing of two photovoltaic power projects in Uruguay. Regulatory powerhouse Geraldine Ifrán is another key name in a group that also counts Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch International among its clients.
Guyer & Regules fields a sizeable banking and finance practice, which is led jointly by Nicolás Herrera, Nicolás Piaggio and Álvaro Tarabal. Noted for its ‘very broad scope of advice’, the group’s expertise encompasses traditional lending matters, capital markets, financial restructuring, project finance and structured finance. In a marquee mandate, the firm recently advised BBVA Securities, Citigroup Global Markets and HSBC Securities (USA) as the joint book-runners on the Republic of Uruguay’s $1.7bn bond offering — Piaggio and Florencia Castagnola led that work, with support from impressive senior associate Federico Piano. On the corporate bond front, Piaggio advised Corporación Vial del Uruguay on a two-tranche notes issuance worth $186m, as part of its wider $450m notes programme. On the lending side, Tarabal advised Inter-American Investment Corporation on a $114.3m loan to Uruguayan companies Colidim and Jolipark to support their solar plants. The group also benefits from the experience of Juan Manuel Mercant and up-and-coming partner Marcos Payssé. Other representative clients include BNP Paribas, Cledinor and JBS Leather Uruguay.
Hughes & Hughes’ banking team acts for a diverse portfolio of local and multinational banks, brokers and financial advisers, with its robust project finance expertise standing out as a key draw for many. In a recent example of its sweet spot, prominent younger partner Mariana Estradé advised Generación Eólica Minas, the Uruguayan subsidiary of Akuo Energy and Eurus Energy, on the $100m refinancing of its 42MW wind farm project. In another significant highlight, group co-head Héctor Ferreira advised fruit company San Miguel on a $100m financing to fund its multinational expansion plans. Other recent clients include BBVA, ING Bank and The Deetken Group. Juan Carlos Oreggia Carrau, who recently secured an impressive run of lender-side mandates, and Haroldo Espalter also co-lead the department.
Jiménez de Aréchaga, Viana + Brause
Jiménez de Aréchaga, Viana + Brause counts major multinational banks such as Banco Santander, Crédit Agricole and Goldman Sachs among its key clients, and it also acts for corporate borrowers. Project finance is a significant source of work and recent highlights in that field included group co-head Nicolás Herrera Alonso advising the lenders (Banco Santander and CaixaBank) on a $70m project financing for a 50MW wind project developed by Enercon. In addition, department co-lead Fernando Jiménez de Aréchaga Jr advised SA de Obras y Servicios, COPASA and Espina Obras Hidráulicas as sponsors on the ‘Circuito 3’ PPP, which represents Uruguay’s largest highway project to date. Other recommended names are group co-head Fernando Jiménez de Aréchaga and newly made-up equity partner Mariela Ruanova. The firm announced its association with global player, Dentons in September 2019.
Posadas, Posadas & Vecino's ‘international-standard team’ acts for a veritable raft of local and multinational financial institutions, with representative names including Banco Santander, BNP Paribas and Inter-American Development Bank. Among its recent lender-side highlights, group head Tomás Gurméndez (‘extremely smart and experienced’) advised a group of creditors on several ‘normalisation agreements’ with JBS Group to provide greater financial security for the meat processing giant. Gurméndez also advised Société Générale Spain, as agent for a syndicated group of lenders, on a €120m revolving credit facility to Saeta Yield. The firm also handles a steady stream of work for borrowers, especially on the projects and infrastructure fronts. Pablo Sequeira, who is particularly noted for regulatory matters, is also recommended.
OLIVERA Abogados’ practice, which routinely acts for both local and international banks and corporations, strikes a good balance between regulatory and transactional work. The firm’s strong relationship with BEVSA (the Electronic Stock Exchange of Uruguay) continues to pay dividends; the team has assisted this trophy client with a string of mandates over the past year, including advising it on Corporación Vial del Uruguay’s two-tranche offering of debt securities — together, practice co-heads Ricardo Olivera García and Federico Rocca led that work. The team has also recently undertaken matters for China Development Bank, Proyección Electroluz Uruguay and Urutec.
At BERGSTEIN, highly experienced of counsel Alejandro Hernández is recommended for his sound track record in structured finance and regulatory work. The group also benefits from the senior expertise of tax specialist Jonás Bergstein and Guillermo Duarte, who handles investment-related matters. The firm, which enjoys close links with an impressive roster of local and multinational financial institutions, recently advised a foreign bank on local banking regulations.
Among Bragard Abogados’ recent highlights, founding partner Jean Jacques Bragard advised Bearing Agro and TMF Uruguay Administradora de Fondos de Inversión y Fideicomisos on a $150m note offering by Fideicomiso Financiero Tierras Irrigadas II. In addition to its strength in debt capital markets, the firm counts project finance, structured finance and regulatory matters among its strong suits.