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Latham & Watkins LLP

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David J. Penna

Work +1.202.637.1099
Latham & Watkins LLP

Work Department

David Penna is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Latham & Watkins, local Chair of the Finance Department and a member of the Project Development & Finance Practice. Mr. Penna has represented lenders, developers and governmental entities in all phases of the development and financing of US and international projects, particularly in the energy, oil and gas, and infrastructure sectors. He also has significant mergers and acquisitions experience, with a focus on deals involving power generation assets.


Finance Partner


Latin America: International firms

Banking and finance

Within: Banking and finance

Latham & Watkins LLP is primarily known for project finance in the energy and infrastructure spaces, although it has genuine credibility in acquisition and commodity finance; it is also experienced in hybrid financings involving capital markets components. Through its multiple offices in the US and solid presence in Houston, the firm has captured significant market share in Mexico, where it is at the forefront of energy sector reforms and associated financings. Argentina is a growth market for the practice and it also remains active in other key markets such as Chile, Colombia and Brazil. Clients include Repsol, Fermaca Global, Howard Energy Partners, First Reserve Corporation, Norddeutsche Landesbank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Andes Mining & Energy, Credit Agricole and IFM Global Infrastructure Fund. The team advised US-based investment fund ICE Canyon, as the purchaser of senior secured notes issued by Stoneway Capital, to finance the construction of four Argentine power plants with an aggregate capacity of 686MW. It also advised the client on its $475m term loan facility for the acquisition of Inversora Eléctrica de Buenos Aires and the refinancing of existing debt; the target is a provider and distributor of electric energy in Buenos Aires. Washington DC counsel Luis Torres led the team on the previously mentioned transactions. Christopher Cross is a key name in the oil and gas sector financings, most notably in Mexico; while co-chair of the Latin America practice Antonio Del Pino, Veronica Relea and Washington DC partner David Penna, are also experienced in Latin America financing transactions. All named individuals are New York based unless stated otherwise.

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Projects and energy

Within: Projects and energy

Latham & Watkins LLP is a global leader in projects and energy, with a high number of its US-based practitioners having a strong focus on Latin America. It has an especially strong position in Mexico, followed by Chile and Colombia. The firm’s core Latin America team has leveraged its internal expertise to work on a series of matters involving the interplay between project finance, M&A and private equity. Clients include First Reserve, Fermaca Global, Norddeutsche Landesbank, Repsol, IEnova, Sempra Energy and Andes Mining & Energy. Recent mandates include advising Vista Oil & Gas on its $650m listing on the Mexican Stock Exchange; this was the first special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) IPO in Latin America; and Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec on its acquisition of an 80% stake in Enel Green Power’s Mexico-based portfolio of wind and solar assets. Other mandates include advising US-based investment fund ICE Canyon, as a purchaser of senior secured notes issued by Stoneway Capital, to finance the construction of four power plants in Argentina. The firm provides an ‘excellent service’, ‘very strong team’, ‘very rapid response times’ and ‘practical and helpful advice’. Washington DC’s David Penna is a pivotal member of the team, leading many of the firm’s key project finance transactions in the region, including in the energy, oil and gas, and infrastructure sectors. Co-chair of the energy, oil and gas industry group, Christopher Cross is noted for oil and gas transactions in Mexico and Latin America team co-head Antonio Del Pino is recommended for M&A, joint ventures and private equity transactions involving energy assets. Veronica Relea is another prominent partner and Washington DC counsel Luis Torres has led on a series of high profile transactions, most notably in Argentina. All partners are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

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United States: Finance

Project finance

Within: Leading lawyers

David Penna - Latham & Watkins LLP

Within: Project finance

Latham & Watkins LLP draws on its impressive investment banking and international banking following to advise on a high volume of lender mandates relating to energy projects. ‘Very versatile’ practice head Jonathan Rod and counsel Amy Maloney acted for The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ on the $551m refinancing of the Trans Bay Cable in California, and Los Angeles-based Jeffrey Greenberg, who is ‘terrific on conventional power projects’, advised BNP Paribas, Bank of America, and Credit Agricole on the construction financing of the Hickory Run power project in Pennsylvania. On the sponsor side, the practice regularly acts for developers and private equity funds, and in one example of the former Matthew Henegar and Eli Katz assisted Alterra Power with the construction loan and tax equity financing of the Flat Top Wind Farm in Texas. Arclight Capital and The Blackstone Group are key private equity clients; Maloney and Washington DC-based David Penna are advising the latter on the private placement of senior-secured notes concerning the Sabine Pass LNG Terminal in Louisiana. The practice was further enhanced by the promotion of San Diego-based Kelly Thomason Self to counsel, and the arrival of Eugene Elrod and Patrick Nevins, who are based in Washington DC, from Sidley Austin LLP and Hogan Lovells US LLP respectively. All named partners are based in New York except where stated otherwise.

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United States: Industry focus

Energy: renewable/alternative

Within: Energy: renewable/alternative

Latham & Watkins LLP’s ‘very knowledgeable’ team excels at project finance. New York based Matthew Henegar and the ‘very versatileJonathan Rod acted for Allianz Global Investors on the project financing for the Grande Prairie Wind Farm in Nebraska, and Henegar and LA-based Jeffrey Greenberg acted for Morgan Stanley on a private placement by Texoma Wind for the financing of four wind facilities. Other key figures include DC-based David Penna and New York-based Eli Katz, who were both busy in the tax equity space. The team also handles M&A for the likes of ArcLight Capital Partners. New York-based David Kurzweil and DC-based David Schwartz jointly head the practice.

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