Corporate and M&A in Venezuela

D'Empaire

The ‘great‘ corporate team at D’Empaire has been highly active in M&A, acting for leading Venezuelan and international clients on complex, often cross-border transactions. Clients stem from the telecoms, pharmaceuticals, technology and financial services sectors, among others. Practice head Fulvio Italiani continues to handle high-profile M&A, including recently advising Grupo Werthein on its acquisition of regional entertainment company Vrio. Arnoldo Troconis, Ines Parra, Roberto Mas, who has experience in the oil and gas and real estate sectors, and associate Giancarlo Carrazza are also key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Fulvio Italiani

Testimonials

‘A great firm that covers the socio-political and economic situation in its advice and isn’t limited to the law. In addition to this, the team is totally cross-functional, which gives us peace of mind that the advice cover the entire spectrum of the matter to be reviewed.’

‘Costs are affordable and each of the firm’s attorneys has general knowledge regardless of their area of expertise.’

‘Their responses are always quick. Even if the lawyer in charge of the case is absent, other partners can back him or her up without the frustration of having to repeat our explanations. They worked seamlessly with us as a team, even during the lockdown, including receiving and dispatching legal documents physically.’

‘Their comprehension and interpretation of our problems and needs are excellent. They were able to detect requirements which we ourselves were not aware of, and give us appropriate advice.’

Key clients

Grupo Werthein

Platinum Equity

Lumen

Fivenca Casa de Bolsa

Visa International Services Association

Tenaris Group

PedidosYa

Hino Motors

Bayer

Work highlights

  • Acted as Venezuelan counsel to Grupo Werthein on its acquisition of digital entertainment services company Vrio from AT&T.
  • Acted as Venezuelan counsel to Platinum Equity on its $4.2bn acquisition of environmental services provider Urbaser from China Tianying.
  • Assisting Lumen as Venezuelan counsel in the $2.7bn sale of its Latin American business to Stonepeak.

Lega

Leĝa Abogados' corporate practice frequently handles high-profile transactions in the Venezuelan market, standing out for its expertise in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. With four offices across Venezuela, the firm is well placed to advise on both domestic and cross-border M&A, spin-offs and joint ventures. In addition, the team advises on company incorporation, exchange control regulation, corporate governance and the divestiture and winding-up of foreign clients' Venezuelan branches. Other notable sectors of expertise include telecoms, IT, energy, insurance, financial services and logistics. Well known for its advice to leading multinationals, the firm also has an entrepreneurship practice which advises local and foreign start-ups. Luis Eduardo López-Durán, who also leads the life sciences practice group, heads the team with Pedro Urdaneta. Energy and financial sector expert José Alberto Ramírez and Fernando Sanquirico are other key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Pedro Urdaneta; Luis López

Key clients

IBM Corporation

FCC Aqualia

Nattura Laboratorios

IBM de Venezuela

Kyndryl

CA Cervecería Regional

China Communications Construction Company

Willis Group

Nouryion Chemical International

MercadoLibre

Alpina

VIPPO

SM Pharma

Lenovo

Global Uno Logistics

Travelport

Mazars Venezuela

Motorola Mobility

Invecine

Bayer

Work highlights

  • Acting as Venezuelan counsel to IBM Corporation on the spin-off of its global managed infrastructure services business unit as a separate publicly listed company.
  • Advising Laser Computación, the Dell and HP distributor in Latin America, on the sale of shares in the company and the renegotiation of distribution contracts with the new shareholders.
  • Providing ongoing corporate services to major brewery CA Cervecería Regional.

Altum Abogados, S.C.

Altum Abogados, S.C. stands out for its advice to multinational clients from sectors including entertainment, automotive and financial services. The team handles the incorporation of Venezuelan entities, corporate structuring for investment and asset protection purposes, M&A, corporate restructuring and advice on foreign investments, including real estate and infrastructure projects. The 'very clear' María Eugenia Reyes, who specialises in corporate and real estate matters, heads the team with Álvaro Posada Sessarego, who has particular expertise in cross-border transactions, and Alfonso Porras Machado, an expert in corporate finance and M&A. Froila Eugenia Pimentel provides key support at associate level.

Practice head(s):

María Eugenia Reyes; Alfonso Porras Machado; Álvaro Posada Sessarego

Testimonials

‘The lawyers stay in closer communication and are more accessible than at other firms. In other words, the hierarchy in other firms means that time is wasted. At Altum, the work team is informed so there is no need to repeat what is needed or required.’

‘Maria Eugenia Reyes is very clear, with excellent knowledge of the areas she covers. She gets to know the client’s strengths and weaknesses, and knows how to handle them.’

Araquereyna

The ‘prudent and efficient‘ lawyers at Araquereyna have been particularly active in restructurings, assisting clients with devising corporate structures in Venezuela that will reduce the impact of the economic crisis, or with protecting their assets in other jurisdictions. In addition, the team is noted for its specialism in advising local subsidiaries of multinational companies on cross-border M&A in various industries, including entertainment, automotive, telecoms and logistics. Another key area of work is advising on the impact of US sanctions. Manuel Reyna, who has longstanding experience in corporate structuring and M&A, leads the team with Maripi Viso and Pedro Sosa. At associate level, Federica Mena is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Pedro Ignacio Sosa Mendoza; Maripi Viso; Manuel Reyna

Testimonials

‘They are always up to date with changes to local laws and other areas of interest to the company.’

‘They work with a real interest that gives the feeling that they are part of the company.’

‘Pedro Sosa stands out for his excellent communication on a personal level with clients.’

‘Without a doubt, the advantage of this firm is the professional and human qualities of the lawyers who have advised me, under the leadership of Pedro Sosa. They always analyse the issues in depth and take a global approach. They are prudent and efficient professionals.’

‘They are very efficient. They solve everything in record time despite the country’s difficulties. The quality of the answers are professional and the client service is unique!’

‘Communication with the client is key, especially in an environment like Venezuela. However, they always provide a solution within the legal framework.’

Key clients

General Motors

Universal Music

Mattel Mexico

Cable & Wireless

Eversheds Sutherland (Technip FMC)

Sodexo

United Parcel Service – UPS

Dragados

Pizzolante Comunicación Estratégica

Nokia Solutions and Networks

Work highlights

  • Advising Dragados on various contacts with third parties.
  • Advised Universal Music on designing a structure to concentrate its assets in one of the company’s subsidiaries (Universal Music Publishing de Venezuela) and to liquidate another (Universal Music de Venezuela).
  • Advising Mattel Mexico on various matters related to its corporate structure.

Baker & McKenzie, S.C.

Highlighted for its 'technical knowledge and availability', the team at Baker & McKenzie, S.C. has extensive experience in corporate and M&A transactions, drawing on its global network to advise on cross-border matters. The practice is particularly experienced in advising multinational clients on divestments and corporate reorganisations, and frequently works alongside the firm's tax, finance and real estate departments. Practice co-head Jesús Dávila advises on the full range of corporate and compliance matters, with an emphasis on corporate reorganisations, and fellow co-head María Celis is noted for her complementary expertise in telecoms, real estate and antitrust issues.

Practice head(s):

María Celis; Jesús Dávila

Testimonials

‘Their strong point is the dedication they have to clients’ projects and their availability at all hours.’

‘The team’s best qualities are its technical knowledge and availability to answer questions.’

Key clients

Minera Loma de Níquel (Anglo American)

Ecolab

Novo Nordisk Farmacêutica do Brasil

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

GSI-FOOD

Dentons

The 'diligent' Dentons' team has a strong track record of handling high-profile M&A, both advising on transactions in the Venezuelan market and cross-border matters, thanks to its global expertise. The team also assists with day-to-day corporate matters, corporate restructurings and the establishment of new businesses in the jurisdiction. Its wide-ranging client portfolio includes major local and multinational companies from the pharmaceutical, technology (including the cryptocurrency and streaming spaces), aviation and energy sectors, among others. The experienced quartet of Sergio Casinelli, Daniela Jaimes, who has particular expertise in highly regulated industries, Natalija Vojvodic and Rubén Eduardo Luján, who also co-heads the regional banking and finance group, leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Sergio Casinelli; Natalija Vojvodic; Daniela Jaimes; Rubén Eduardo Luján

Testimonials

‘Dentons in Venezuela has a very professional and well-trained team. In all our consultations, they demonstrate full knowledge of the matter, as well as daily preparation to keep up to date with the latest information and legislation. The firm’s billing system adapts to our needs and complies with tax regulations.’

‘The good and cordial attitude that characterises Daniela Jaimes, who handles our account, has always been outstanding. She is always available to deal with our matters in the required time. We have never felt neglected.’

‘The Dentons team is very diligent. What stands out most about them is that beyond offering advice, they always provide a solution, in line with their policies and good values. These solutions range from the legal field to administrative billing and payment issues.’

‘Daniela Jaimes stands out for her quick responses and follow-up.’

Key clients

Compañía General de Combustibles

Magnabyte

Mead Johnson Nutrition

Cisco Systems

Mitsubishi

Chemical Dampe

China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC)

Refinitiv

Schaeffler Brasil

adidas

InterJuris Abogados

Based across several jurisdictions, the ‘exemplary‘ corporate team at InterJuris Abogados advises on M&A, divestitures, corporate restructurings and joint ventures, with experience acting for local and foreign clients. The team also assists international investors with the day-to-day operation of businesses in Venezuela and on restructuring holding companies outside Venezuela under bilateral investment and double taxation treaties. Clients are drawn from a range of sectors, including pharmaceuticals, energy, hospitality and construction, with the firm particularly noted for its expertise in the crypto and blockchain space. Senior legal adviser Carlos Delgado leads the team from Caracas, alongside Juan José Delgado, who splits his time between the Madrid and Miami offices, and Miami-based María Cecilia Rachadell. Maria Leticia Perera and Fernando Ríos Morillo are also key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Juan José Delgado; María Cecilia Rachadell; Carlos Delgado

Testimonials

‘The team at InterJuris in Venezuela are exemplary in their response times and client service.’

‘Fernando Rios and his team always have alternatives to help the client efficiently and easily. Due to changes in Venezuela, some companies are not up to date with all their records and Fernando always has solutions to streamline processes.’

Key clients

Sony de Venezuela

CYBS Consultants

Team Remoto/Women on the Stage

Amarillo

Goddard

Cunapro Financial Services

Mabe

Eaton

Ticketplate

Emotional

Zoetis

Ericsson

Sidoni North America

Codalim

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE)

Work highlights

  • Advising Team Remoto and Women on the Stage on the design terms and conditions and commercial alliances for multi-jurisdictional digital marketing advice and consulting services, as well as digital educational services.
  • Advised on the creation and launch of Amarillo Agency and the design of its growth strategy in Latin America, including the negotiation of local partners per jurisdiction.
  • Advised CYBS on a joint venture for the development of financial and software projects for existing and prospective clients in Latin America.

Mendoza, Palacios, Acedo, Borjas, Paez Pumar & Cia.

The corporate practice at Mendoza, Palacios, Acedo, Borjas, Paez Pumar & Cia. has considerable expertise in the private equity space, advising leading Venezuelan private equity firm Miranda Capital on transactions and investment mechanisms. The team’s workload also covers advising national and international companies on M&A, corporate governance, foreign investment, exchange controls and economic sanctions, with an emphasis on cross-border matters. The practice is co-led by a trio of partners: Manuel Acedo Sucre is an expert in corporate finance; Luisa Acedo specialises in company law and corporate governance regulations as well as handling M&A and associated due diligence; and Diego Lepervanche stands out for his expertise in private equity, as well as M&A and sanctions. Carlos Eduardo Acedo is also noted for commercial issues.

Practice head(s):

Luisa Acedo; Manuel Acedo Sucre; Diego Lepervanche

Key clients

Miranda Capital Partners

The Coca-Cola Company (and its Venezuelan subsidiary Coca-Cola Servicios de Venezuela)

Grupo Orbis (and its Venezuelan subsidiaries, Corporación Grupo Químico, Proninsa and Intequim)

Solsica

DHL Global Forwarding

MSD Farmacéutica

Telefónica Venezolana

Citibank

Munchener de Venezuela

Grupo Perret

Work highlights

  • Assisting Venezuelan private equity firm Miranda Capital with acquisitions, due diligence processes, investor relations, and funding and financial matters.
  • Advising numerous multinational companies and their local subsidiaries on their corporate activities in Venezuela.
  • Advising Corporación Grupo Químico (a subsidiary of Grupo Orbis) on various corporate issues.

Ponte Andrade & Casanova

Ponte Andrade & Casanova ‘s corporate practice is highly regarded for its expertise in the entertainment sector, where it advises key media, digital streaming and broadcasting players, including The Walt Disney Company. The team has a significant track record of advising multinational companies and their local subsidiaries across a range of industries, as well as Venezuelan start-ups; other areas of strength include technology, pharmaceuticals and financial services. The practice is experienced in M&A and restructurings, as well as advising on various commercial contracts. The ‘amazingIgnacio Andrade Monagas , who has complementary expertise in labour matters, and Francisco Casanova  head the team. Associate Ignacio Andrade Cifuentes  is also a key contact.

Practice head(s):

Francisco Casanova; Ignacio Andrade Monagas

Testimonials

‘The advantage of the firm is its knowledge of the local law and the market as it relates to our business. It has lawyers with a great track record and experience, who provide kindness and certainty in their legal advice.’

‘Ignacio Andrade Monagas, Ignacio Andrade Cifuentes and Francisco Casanova are all amazing attorneys and human beings. They are clear in their answers.’

Key clients

The Walt Disney Company

SC Johnson & Son de Venezuela

AseguraPro Sociedad de Corretaje de Seguros

Dell EMC (EMC Computer System Venezuela)

Zea BBDO (BBDO Worldwide)

Hyland Software

Proyecto Gotas

Tamanaco Consulting Group

Inversiones Instrumental Atlas

Infocent and related company Nomi Sistemas

Servicios Panamericanos de Protección (SERPAPRO)

1001 Ideas para mi País

Documentos Mercantiles (DOMESA)

Desarrollos Inmobiliarios Plaza Mayor

ASAP Venezuela

Consorcio Lake Plaza

Insurance Assist

Work highlights

  • Advising The Walt Disney Company on the launch and update of its streaming platforms Disney+ and Star+ in Venezuela.
  • Acting as co-ordinating regional counsel in Latin America to Hyland Software, advising on issues including the closure of one of the client’s resellers in Colombia and the acquisition of its operations through local subsidiary Hyland Colombia.

Torres, Plaz & Araujo

Torres, Plaz & Araujo‘s multi-disciplinary team advises on a range of corporate transactions and commercial issues, with notable expertise in the negotiation of franchise, agency and distribution contracts. On the transactional side, the team is particularly experienced in the structuring of investments, corporate restructurings and M&A, with experience in both local and cross-border matters. The firm also advises a roster of private clients and family offices on structuring and relocation issues. Managing partner Guillermo De La Rosa Stolk, who has longstanding experience in M&A, joint ventures and contractual issues, heads the team with Juan Carlos Garantón-Blanco and Valentina Cabrera Medina, who co-coordinate the firm’s corporate, tax and energy practices. Domingo Piscitelli Nevola is also a name to note for corporate and compliance matters, and senior associate José Antonio De Sousa stands out for his experience in the energy, oil and gas, and maritime sectors, among others.

Practice head(s):

Guillermo de la Rosa Stolk; Juan Carlos Garantón-Blanco; Valentina Cabrera Medina

Key clients

Alimentos Mary

Anglo American

Astillas Nacionales (ANCA)

BP Exploracion de Venezuela/BP Group

Calox International

Coeclerici

Distribuidora Petrolera Alvarez (Dispalsa)

Foxyp2

FY Group

Laminados Innovadores (Laminova)

PepsiCo/Pepsi Cola Panamericana

Seaport Agencies Group of Companies

Takeda

Endava Vnz (formerly Velocity Partners Venezuela)

Italcapital

El Pedregal

Work highlights

  • Advising Seaport Agencies Group of Companies on various transactions entered into in Venezuela, Panama and the US, including negotiations before the Venezuelan national authorities and with a large state-owned company.
  • Advising Anglo American on its corporate and financial structure in Venezuela.
  • Advising Pepsi Alimentos on various corporate issues, including the review of contracts and agreements, the reorganisation of holding and operative structures in Venezuela, and local migration and corporate redomiciliation of the company.

BNM ONTIER

Part of an international network, BNM ONTIER is experienced in advising local and multinational companies that provide goods and services to Venezuelan consumers. Key contacts include José Rafael Bermúdez, who advises on M&A and corporate restructurings, and Carlos Nevett Gimón, who is recommended for his advice on foreign investments, currency exchange rules and contracts with the public sector.

LEC Abogados

With experience in cross-border M&A and investments and particular expertise in the energy sector, LEC Abogados acts for a wide-ranging roster of local and international clients. The team also handles the structuring of new businesses, corporate finance and restructuring, and regulatory issues. Practice co-head Rodolfo Belloso advises on investment and divestment projects, M&A and restructurings, and fellow co-head Jorge Paúl stands out for international corporate transactions. Gastón Lazzari is noted for compliance and procurement matters, and associate Arturo Jáuregui has expertise in corporate and energy matters.

Practice head(s):

Jorge Paúl Betancourt; Rodolfo Belloso Guzmán

Testimonials

‘A very well-integrated team that is able to support different areas of our company and provide effective solutions.’

‘Jorge Paúl and Rodolfo Belloso are always available and in constant communication with us regarding the daily business of the company.’

Key clients

Saipem

Compagnie De Saint-Gobain

Nekso

Petrex

Grupo Nutriservi

Grupo Bimbo

Fibras Fivenglass

Patagonia Americas

ECSA – Empresa De Construcción San Antonio

Work highlights

  • Advised Saipem on the evaluation of its local operations and the strategy for the resizing and possible closure of operations.
  • Advised the local subsidiaries of Compagnie de Saint-Gobain on reviewing contracts and transactions with distributors and suppliers, and the restructuring of its local operation.
  • Advised Nekso on general corporate and contractual matters related to its local operations.

Palacios, Torres & Korody

The ‘knowledgeable‘ corporate team at Palacios, Torres & Korody advises a roster of leading domestic and international corporations, with a particular emphasis on assisting the local subsidiaries of international companies in the petrochemicals, telecoms and mining sectors. Carlos Plaza, who is experienced in M&A and the structuring of investments, leads the practice with Juan Korody, a specialist in tax and regulatory law, corporate finance and M&A.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Plaza; Juan Korody

Testimonials

‘The team stand out for their professionalism. They are knowledgeable about legal matters and they explain concepts clearly.’

‘It is a firm with vast experience that has close relationships with its clients.’

‘Juan Korody and Carlos Plaza always present us with options.’

‘Juan Korody stands out not only because of his professional knowledge, but also because of his sophistication and creativity in solving any legal matter, with practical results.’

‘Carlos Plaza is a very well-known corporate lawyer with a high level of expertise in international matters thanks to his past experience.’

‘The team demonstrates honesty, speed, responsiveness and an understanding of the environment in which we operate, adjusted to the reality and way of doing business today in Venezuela.’

Key clients

Diageo Venezuela

TG Latam

Perenco Venezuela

Empresas Polar

Alimentos Heinz de Venezuela

Grupo Falabella

Bayer Venezuela

Ron Santa Teresa

Procter & Gamble Venezuela

Schlumberger Venezuela

Work highlights

  • Advising TG Latam Group on all legal matters related to the development of Top Golf franchises throughout South America.
  • Assisting Empresas Polar, the largest privately held corporation in Venezuela, with the design and implementation of a new foreign-exchange, commercial policy in response to a hyperinflationary climate.
  • Advising Bayer Venezuela on the necessary modifications to the capital structure of its Venezuelan entities.

Raffalli de Lemos Halvorssen Ortega y Ortiz

Raffalli de Lemos Halvorssen Ortega y Ortiz handles a wide range of corporate matters, from the incorporation of local subsidiaries and domiciling of branches of foreign companies through to advising on commercial activities and contracts. The practice has notable expertise in the e-commerce sector and in drafting and negotiating agency and distribution agreements. Andrés Halvorssen, Jose Manuel Ortega Sosa, Rafael De Lemos Matheus and associate Andrea Rondon are all names to note.

Rodríguez & Mendoza

Rodríguez & Mendoza‘s corporate department advises clients on day-to-day issues as well as both domestic and cross-border M&A and foreign investment. Sectors of expertise include oil and gas and telecoms. Francisco Utrera, who is experienced in corporate, M&A and antitrust matters, and Reinaldo Hellmund are key contacts, along with Cristóbal Mendoza.

Tinoco, Travieso, Planchart & Núñez

Tinoco, Travieso, Planchart & Núñez advises on corporate restructurings, M&A and foreign investments, in addition to assisting with the preparation of commercial agreements. The team has particular experience in real estate and insurance-related matters. René Lepervanche Orellana, Hans Sydow Guevara, who has expertise in M&A and oil and gas transactions, and César Lepervanche Mendoza are among the key contacts.

Travieso Evans Arria Rengel & Paz

Travieso Evans Arria Rengel & Paz has a focus on advising multinational clients and is particularly experienced in cross-border transactions. The team frequently handles M&A, with an emphasis on the acquisition of businesses in Venezuela by foreign investors. Simón Guevara Camacho, who has longstanding expertise in transactions in the energy, oil and gas sectors, leads the corporate team with Olga Nass De Massiani, an expert in M&A and foreign investments. The practice was further strengthened at partnership level by the promotion of Daniela Del Vecchio in January 2021.

Practice head(s):

Olga Nass de Massiani; Simón Guevara

Testimonials

‘The firm has a high level of service and specialised technical knowledge; what makes the team special is that they combine their technical knowledge of the law with knowledge of the policy, values and processes of our company, and have a practical outlook that means their service is highly valuable for our company.’

‘Daniela Del Vecchio and Olga Massiani have specialised technical knowledge and great practical sense. They are always willing to help, to listen and to understand the problem and their experience and ethics greatly contribute to our success.’