Corporate/M&A in Uruguay
‘A tier-one law firm for M&A in South America’, FERRERE leverages its offices across Uruguay, as well as its international platforms in Ecuador and Paraguay to act as a hub for regional cross-border deals. In a highlight example of its multi-jurisdictional reputation, the firm was recently selected to advise Canada’s Knight Therapeutics on the local aspects of its $281m acquisition of Biotoscana, a multinational laboratory whose corporate and logistics hub for the Americas is located in Uruguay. Sources value the group's lawyers ability to ‘collaborate proactively to find accurate solutions’, with high-profile corporate veteran Martín Cerruti particularly sought after by clients. Geraldine Ifrán is another senior corporate specialist, who brings to bear a prominent record in insurance-related transactions. Santiago Fontana specialises in foreign investments and M&A and is highlighted as an ‘excellent and solution-oriented lawyer’. Up-and-coming partner Sebastián Ramos is noted for his broad focus on corporate and project finance matters, while impressive associate Alejandra García is ‘highly knowledgeable in the M&A area’.
‘Ferrere and its members understand all aspects of our business and collaborate proactively to find accurate solutions to our issues.’
‘Lawyers are accessible and responsive and an excellent value for money option.’
‘Affordable, friendly people, who are empathetic to our needs and response times.’
‘Always predisposed, to go a beyond our requirements, even leaning on their vast network of contacts throughout the region to assist us explore business development.’
‘Ferrere has provided highly knowledgeable, solution-oriented and efficient advice with a deep understanding of customer needs in a challenging matter within short time frames.’
‘Ferrere is definitely a tier-one law firm for M&A in South America and by far our preferred law firm in Uruguay.’
‘Santiago Fontana is an excellent and solution-oriented lawyer appreciated for his ability to identify potential issues for the client, walking that extra mile to make deals happen, understanding the client’s needs and navigating us through an unfamiliar jurisdiction.’
‘Alejandra García is highly knowledgeable in the M&A area, very responsive and efficient and really good at client communication. She makes clients feel comfortable.’
- Advised Canada-listed Knight Therapeutics on the local aspects of its $281m acquisition of Biotoscana.
- Advised Uruguay-based insurance company HDI on the acquisition of the entire portfolio of a transport insurer.
- Assisted CVC Corp with its $74m acquisition of online travel platform Almundo.
- Advised Uruguayan retail group Ta-Ta on the acquisition of retail company, Motociclo.
Guyer & Regules finds favour for its commitment to do ‘whatever it takes to meet goals’, with lawyers’ specialist expertise and strong availability both recurring themes among clients. The firm houses a comprehensive corporate practice, with its signature M&A offering underpinned by capability in all core corporate areas, including incorporations, joint ventures and corporate governance. The team’s impressive national market share is evidenced by its representation of eight of the top 12 exporting companies in Uruguay, while its record in cross-border deals marks it as a popular choice for multinationals looking to do deals in the country. Corporate finance heavyweight Nicolás Herrera is the ‘best around’, according to clients. Herrera co-leads the group alongside Nicolás Piaggio, who is particularly noted for his experience advising multinational corporations, and Álvaro Tarabal who focuses on corporate, M&A, foreign investment and capital markets. The highly experienced Corina Bove is another key contact and advises on M&A, joint ventures, commercial contracts and governance issues. Increasingly prominent partner Javier Berdaguer and rising star Guzmán Rodríguez are also recommended.
‘Guyer has lawyers trained in the US as well as Uruguay, which makes them stand out in the corporate and M&A area.’
‘Experienced and knowledgeable, maintain good relationships with authorities and partners.’
‘In corporate, Guyer is our key firm. We have worked with them for many years and we feel very satisfied, comfortable and well cared for.’
‘The team is comprised of specialists in their areas. Lawyers convey their concerns to us and there is fluidity in their understanding.’
‘The team is accessible, always available to help regardless of the day and time.’
‘The quality of the product is very good and they work quickly to meet stated objectives.’
‘Partners actively participate in deals.’
‘I have used other firms (and I have also had them as a counterpart) and none seem as good to me.’
‘Dedicated connoisseurs, they do whatever it takes to meet goals. I highlight Nicolás Piaggio, among others.’
‘Nicolás Herrera is the best around.’
‘We have worked a lot with banking and corporate partner Juan Manuel Mercant and Corina Bove in recent years, for whom we have great intellectual respect and who have earned our trust.’
Montes del Plata Mill (Stora Enso)
Puerta del Sur
Fomento Económico Mexicano (FEMSA)
Runtuna (La Tahona)
Auxly Cannabis Group
- Advised Denmark-based DLF Seeds on the local aspects of its $421m acquisition of the seeds business of New Zealand’s PGG Wrightson.
- Assisted Two Continent Logistics with its acquisition of a stake in car assembler, Nordex.
- Acted as local counsel to Tripadvisor on its acquisition of restaurant booking platform, Restorando.
- Advised Perez Companc on its acquisition of meat producer, Frigorífico San Jacinto – Nirea.
- Acted for Canada-based Auxly Cannabis Group on its acquisition of an 80% stake in Uruguay’s Inverell.
Dentons Jiménez de Aréchaga’s busy team handles a broad range of transactional and corporate governance matters, with significant skill sets in M&A, restructuring, private equity and company incorporations. The firm’s comprehensive industry experience spans all sectors but it is best known for its specialist expertise in the food and beverage, agribusiness and technology spheres. Already well versed in cross-border deals, its recently announced combination with Dentons should equip it with further multi-jurisdictional firepower. Nicolás Herrera Alonso is a key name and splits his practice between corporate and banking matters. Corporate specialist Virginia Brause is also highly regarded for her strong international experience, with PepsiCo, McDonald’s and Ericsson among her key clients. Fernando Jiménez de Aréchaga Jr is noted for his activity in the agribusiness and energy areas.
‘The team is accessible and responds promptly to needs that arise. The firm’s professional prestige is a guarantee for clients and competitors.’
‘The team is comprised of lawyers of excellence, who are committed to their work.’
‘They field accessible lawyers, who provide a global response to the needs of the client.’
‘Lawyers demonstrate great dedication towards clients in all aspects.’
‘It is a highly co-ordinated team that provides us with support at all times, from a broad perspective and from all the points of view that are needed to define a problem, action, etc.’
‘Nicolás Herrera Alonso is an outstanding and highly professional specialist.’
‘We value the team’s human and professional qualities, particularly Virginia Brause.’
Grupo Cobra (ACS)
Zurich Santander Seguros Uruguay
- Advised Atlantica Yield on its $120m acquisition of Estrellada from Enel.
- Acted for New Zealand-based PGG Wrightson on the local aspects of the sale of its seeds business to DLF Seeds.
- Advised ice-cream retailer Freddo on the execution of a master franchise agreement with its Uruguayan franchisee for all of its Uruguayan branches.
- Acted as local counsel to Mondelez International on the acquisition of Cadbury worldwide.
- Represented PepsiCo in its successful negotiations with the Uruguayan government to enlarge its concentrate production plant in the Colonia Free Zone.
Hughes & Hughes
‘100% focused on the business implications’, Hughes & Hughes’ lawyers strike the right note with their ability to ‘really put themselves in the client’s position’. The firm handles a wide range of M&A and corporate matters, with a strong focus on the energy, natural resources and infrastructure sectors. A consistent performer in cross-border transactions, the firm is particularly well known for its close relationship with Finland-based forestry industry giant, UPM. Seasoned corporate and commercial expert Haroldo Espalter is a high-profile name and routinely advises international clients on foreign direct investment transactions. Other senior contacts include Héctor Ferreira, who has a strong record in multi-jurisdictional M&A, and Juan Carlos Oreggia Carrau, who is particularly well versed in the forestry and energy sectors.
‘They really put themselves in the client’s position, understand the business, the specific needs in each circumstance, and work according to expectations.’
‘What stands out is the team’s willingness to attend to our issues.’
‘They are clear with their answers and very specialised and competent.’
‘Strong willingness to respond to customer inquiries and questions.’
‘They are 100% focused on the business implications and are so involved that they almost seem like internal lawyers for the client.’
‘Hector Ferreira, Analía Fernandez and Patricia Villalba are excellent.’
Pinturas Inca (Akzo Nobel)
Alcon Laboratorios Uruguay
DIF Capital Partners
- Acted for DIF Capital Partners on its acquisition of Cerro Grande wind farm in eastern Uruguay.
- Advised Finland-based UPM on the development of its $2.7bn pulp mill and related infrastructure.
- Assisted BP with local corporate matters in Uruguay, including contentious issues.
- Advised medical cannabis company, Khiron Life Sciences, on its acquisition of NettaGrowth International.
- Acted for Germany-based Fresenius Medical Care on its acquisition of Uruguay’s Ciame.
An ‘international-level law firm’, Posadas, Posadas & Vecino demonstrates knowledge of ‘both legal and market-specific technical and M&A issues’, according to sources. The firm’s full-service corporate practice punches above its weight in cross-border M&A, with a strong recent record in Brazil-related transactions. It is also recognised for its strength in the forestry, automotive and food and beverage industries. Tomás Guerrero co-leads the department and handles a mix of investment projects, commercial agreements and M&A transactions. Group co-head Fernando de Posadas is recommended for his focus on the forestry, mining, energy and agriculture sectors. Tomás Gurméndez is also noted for his broad experience spanning corporate, finance and energy and natural resources. Lucía Barrios and the ‘very proactive’ Andres Aznarez are talented associates.
‘Our company does not have an internal team of lawyers, so we rely 100% on the capacity of Posadas, Posadas & Vecino. The firm knows our business and advises us correctly.’
‘I think they are an international-level firm.’
‘The attorneys at PPV show great commitment, which gives us peace of mind for being in the hands of professionals who dedicate themselves comprehensively and diligently to our issues.’
‘They have a team with high expertise in specific matters that allow clients to deal with issues in a comprehensive way.’
‘They are very efficient and respond quickly. The level of knowledge is high in both legal and market-specific technical and M&A issues.’
‘Tomas Gurméndez has shown us great knowledge in the area of trusts, which is an area we have used them for recently.’
‘Tomas Gurméndez is the partner in charge of our relationship. We have permanent advice and a full-time provision that I, in particular, have never previously received.’
‘Andres Aznarez is very proactive, has a high degree of Uruguayan and contractual corporate knowledge, especially in matters of mergers and acquisitions.’
‘Strong proactivity, professionalism and client focus, particularly from Gerardo Caffera, Lucía Carbajal and Valeria Techera.’
Liberty Mutual Investments
The Coca-Cola Company
Montes del Plata
Terminal de Graneles Montevideo Obrinel
Nidec Motor Corporation
The Carlyle Group
- Advised Peru-based Intradevco Industrial on its $491m acquisition by Alicorp.
- Advised Conaprole on a supply, assembly and commissioning agreement for a new plant for the production of milk powder and infant formula.
- Acted as local counsel to Nidec Motor Corporation on its acquisition of Whirlpool’s Brazil-headquartered air compressor business, Embraco.
- Assisted Brazil’s Duratex with its $135m acquisition of local tile maker, Cecrisa Revestimentos Cerâmicos.
BERGSTEIN acts for an impressive roster of multinational clients, with its close links to international law firms marking it as a popular choice to advise on the local aspects of cross-border transactions. The team has been particularly active in company incorporations of late, and it also advises on M&A, joint ventures and other corporate matters. Jonas Bergstein is highly regarded for M&A and co-heads the team alongside Guillermo Duarte, who handles both transactional and regulatory issues.
Amadeus IT Group
Axis Energy Group
Bank of America
Companhia Nitroquimica Brasileira
China Development Bank
Corporación Andina de Fomento
Delec Científica Uruguaya
Standard Chartered Bank
The Hackett Group
- Advised Deutsche Bahn on the setting up of a consortium, with both local and foreign companies, for the operation and maintenance of a railway line.
- Advised Brazil-based Tembici on the establishment of its operations in Uruguay.
OLIVERA Abogados’ lawyers ‘care about the details’, according to satisfied clients. The firm’s experience spans M&A, corporate restructuring, shareholder agreements and corporate governance, while its industry expertise is particularly robust in the infrastructure and real estate sectors. Founding partner Ricardo Olivera García is a seasoned specialist, whose experience in drafting key commercial legislation brings significant weight to regulatory matters. Juan Martín Olivera is another key contact and routinely represents local and international clients. Tax specialist Andrés Hessdörfer is also noted.
‘I highlight the speed of response and close attention of the partners, and the whole team in general.’
‘Lawyers care about details and always demonstrate a level of excellence in everything they do.’
‘The team demonstrates a high degree of specialisation and lawyers are always very willing to assist, especially Andrés Hessdörfer and associate Florencia Gentile.’
Ernst & Young
China Development Bank
- Advised the local subsidiary of France-based Parex Group on its acquisition by Switzerland’s Sika.
- Represented Uruguay Biopharmaceutical Research Company on its successful bid to produce and distribute cannabis for recreational purposes, following a tender process initiated by the Uruguayan government.
- Acted for Amazon on several corporate matters related to the establishment of a data centre in Uruguay.
Andersen Tax & Legal Uruguay
Andersen Tax & Legal Uruguay is distinguished by its ability to plug into an extensive global network, which takes in 167 locations worldwide and positions it well for cross-border matters. A prominent brand for tax law, the firm also handles a significant volume of M&A, private equity and corporate compliance matters. Office managing partner Juan Federico Fischer is noted for his strong record in advising multinational companies and high-net worth clients in highly structured deals. Recently promoted partner Federico Formento is also recommended and has an emphasis on infrastructure, energy, logistics, real estate and agribusiness transactions.
‘The Andersen team manages to understand the client’s needs very quickly to provide versatile advice that accompanies the dynamics of the business.’
‘The great added value is the combination of solid advice together with a thorough understanding of the business, which results in the provision of solutions that strictly transcend the technical aspect, providing highly valuable alternatives for the company’s decision makers.’
‘Highly professional. The firm fields a solid and highly capable team, with knowledge in different areas to cover all the needs of our business, be they accounting, legal, administrative, and many other services.’
‘All the people with whom we interact, in addition to being great professionals, are cordial and always well prepared to support us at all times and in any situation.’
‘Andersen really gives us the peace of mind of being 100% covered.’
‘The personalised attention of its partners is definitely a plus compared to other offices.’
‘We highlight the service of the following partners: Ana Inés Alfaro and Federico Formento.’
Sallustro Company & Innovare
Canadian Bank Note Company
Breeders & Packers Uruguay
Neutral – JH Partners
Park Place Technologies
- Advised Sallustro y Cía on its $10m acquisition by Chile-based Forus.
- Acted for GDM Seeds on the structuring of its international businesses through Uruguay.
Brum Costa Abogados
The team at Brum Costa Abogados is held up by sources as being ‘professionally and personally unbeatable’. The group handles a mix of commercial agreements, M&A and compliance matters, with particular experience in regulated industries, including the energy, automotive and life sciences spheres. Key contact Leonardo Costa Franco is recommended for his combination of transactional and regulatory experience. Oscar Brum de Mello also maintains a broad practice, which spans civil, corporate and commercial matters.
‘They offer a well-rounded service, with a human touch.’
‘Professionally and personally unbeatable, particularly Oscar Brum de Mello and Leonardo Costa.’
Distribuidora uruguaya de combustibles (DUCSA)
ALUR – Alcoholes del Uruguay
Faurecia Automotive del Uruguay
- Represented Fosara on a $50m share purchase agreement and related matters.
- Advised the Uruguayan Chamber of Construction on various issues, including corporate compliance.