Mr Manuel Gonzalez > Martinez Vergara & Gonzalez Sociedad > Manila, Philippines > Lawyer Profile

Martinez Vergara & Gonzalez Sociedad
33RD FLOOR, THE ORIENT SQUARE
F. ORTIGAS JR. ROAD, ORTIGAS CENTER
1600 PASIG CITY, METRO MANILA
Philippines

Work Department

Capital Markets, Projects and Energy, Mergers & Acquisition

Position

Senior Partner

Career

Mr. Gonzalez is the Head of the Firm’s Capital Markets Practice Group as well as its Projects and Energy Practice Group.

Mr. Gonzalez has over 20 years of experience in corporate and commercial law, specializing in securities and capital markets, mergers and acquisitions and cross border transactions. He served as counsels for both issuers and financial advisors / underwriters in some of the biggest and most successful offerings in recent years. His expertise covers initial public offerings, backdoor listings and listings by way of introduction, rights offering, and top-up transactions among others.   He was most recently represented an issuer in its successful listing of Merry Mart Consumer Corp. with the PSE in June of 2020 and a successful bond offering a listed company which was subsequently listed with the Singapore Stock Exchange.  

In the field of mergers and acquisition, Mr. Gonzalez was most recently involved in the acquisition of a listed company, successfully concluding a tender offer in the process. He also advised a client in its acquisition of a well-known international consumer brand and was involved in the partnership by another client with a major Japanese telecommunications company.  Recently he advised the shareholders of one of the largest personal care companies in the country on the sale of its company to a listed multinational company.  

Mr. Gonzalez has always been keen in helping foreign investors in the Philippines. He serves as director and corporate secretary/external counsel to some of the largest foreign business process outsourcing companies who have established a presence in the country, advising them on structuring investments, requirements and procedure for registration with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority and the Board of Investments, and intellectual property rights.

 On the development and infrastructure front, Mr. Gonzalez has considerable exposure in public bidding for projects under the Public-Private Partnership Program of the government advising the client in bidding for the modernization of the orthopedic hospital of the Department of Health, the building of schools of the Department of Education Culture and Sports, the rehabilitation of a major airport and the automated fare collection system, both of the Department of Transportation and Communications, among others.

His more recent special projects include:

  • One of the few initial public offerings in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, acted as counsel to issuer MerryMart Consumer Corp. which is principally engaged in the operation of retail stores in the supermarket and household essentials categories
  • Advised a foreign real-estate company listed in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in its acquisition of shares of a domestic company listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange, and assisted in the target’s execution of a co-development agreement as sole operator and manager of an integrated hotel and casino project in Manila Bay Reclamation Area
  • Acted for DoubleDragon Properties Corp. in the USD75,000,000 bond offering of its wholly-owned subsidiary which it listed with the Singapore Stock Exchange
  • Acted as counsel to a real estate and property development firm in its of issuance of multi-billion corporate notes for use in landbanking initiatives

Mr. Gonzalez has been recognized as a Leading Individual in Projects and Energy since 2019 and is also cited as a Recommended Lawyer in Capital Markets and Banking and Finance.

Languages

English; Filipino

Memberships

Integrated Bar of the Philippines

Education

New York University, BA Political Science and Economics, Cum Laude (1988)
University of the Philippines, Bachelor of Laws (1992)

Lawyer Rankings

Philippines > Projects and energy

(Leading individuals)

Manuel Gonzalez  – Martinez Vergara & Gonzalez Sociedad

Martinez Vergara & Gonzalez Sociedad advises private project proponents and financiers on infrastructure, energy and natural resources projects and is particularly recommended for its project financing work; it also represents sponsors and bidders on other issues such as bidding processes and coordinating with the regulatory authorities. The team is similarly recognised for its public-private partnerships work and senior partner Manuel Gonzalez is well-regarded for his work in this area. Erika Paulino has represented arrangers, lenders, borrowers and project proponents in numerous high-value loan syndications, project financings and corporate bond and note issuances. Gwyneth Ong is another key figure and Mark Vergara is well-regarded for his project financing work.

Philippines > Banking and finance

Martinez Vergara & Gonzalez Sociedad is regularly retained by many leading local and foreign banks and financial institutions to advise on various matters. The agile team has particular expertise in providing regulatory advice and is adept at advising on loan syndications in addition to acquisition and project financing work; the group also assists with debt restructuring matters. Mark Vergara has considerable strength in project finance, while Manuel Gonzalez is recognised for his work on project finance and public infrastructure projects. Rosalia S. Bartolome-Alejo is a known name for her work on debt restructuring, consumer banking, credit card operations and credit and security transactions, while Erika Paulino is well-regarded for her work on project and corporate financing mandates. Elmer Serrano is now at Serrano Law.

Philippines > Capital markets

Manuel Gonzalez and Gwyneth Ong lead the dedicated capital markets practice at Martinez Vergara & Gonzalez Sociedad, which handles a wide spectrum of securities-related work. On the equity capital front, its work ranges from advising on significant IPOs, follow-on issues and rights offerings through to assisting with tender offers, reverse takeovers of publicly listed companies and the issuance of global depository receipts; the group also advises on private equity matters. The agile team is experienced in advising issuers and advising on real estate investments trusts and also handles all aspects of the debt capital markets, and frequently acts as counsel to domestic and international financial institutions and issuers on the issuance of corporate notes, bonds and similar debt securities. Mark Vergara and Janice Co are among the other key members of the department.

Philippines > Corporate and M&A

Steered by Rosalia Bartolome-Alejo, the team at Martinez Vergara & Gonzalez Sociedad represents local and foreign clients on their acquisitions, strategic divestment of assets and businesses, as well as their mergers and consolidations with subsidiaries and affiliates. Counting private entities and publicly listed companies among its key roster of clients, the team advises foreign companies on their direct investment into the Philippines and has considerable experience in the banking, power and energy, shipping, real estate and manufacturing sectors. Key contacts include Manuel Gonzalez and Mark Vergara, while Elmer Serrano, Phil Ivan Chan and Tephanie Gandia departed to Serrano Law in January 2022.

Philippines > Intellectual property

Led by Kristine Bongcaron, who was promoted to partner in November 2021, the team at Martinez Vergara & Gonzalez Sociedad assists its roster of clients on the protection, administration and maintenance of their IP rights. The practice routinely advises on trademark and patent searches, in addition to trademark infringement litigation. Other key areas of expertise include advising on the assignment, licensing, franchising and transfer of IP rights between foreign enterprises and their local counterparts. Shirley Alinea, who is an accredited arbitrator of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines, and Manuel Gonzalez are also key contacts.