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Paul Hastings LLP

200 PARK AVENUE, NEW YORK, NY 10166, USA
Tel:
Work +1 212 318 6000
Fax:
Fax +1 212 319 4090
Email:
Web:
www.paulhastings.com
Atlanta, Beijing, Brussels, Chicago, Costa Mesa, Frankfurt and 16 more

Michael Fitzgerald

Tel:
Work 1(212) 318-6988
Email:
Paul Hastings LLP

Work Department

Latin America Practice Group

Position

Michael Fitzgerald heads the Latin America Practice Group at Paul Hastings and is based in the firm’s New York office. Mr. Fitzgerald has represented a wide range of international and domestic underwriter and issuer clients in debt and equity financing transactions and merger and acquisition activities. He has been especially active in Latin American financial markets, and was one of the first US corporate lawyers to focus on capital markets work in the region. He is recognized as a leading lawyer (band 1) by Chambers USA, Chambers Global, and Chambers Latin America; named in the International Who's Who of Capital Markets Lawyers and Business Lawyers; recognized by Legal 500 US as one of the four leading lawyers in the US for Global Offerings; named one of the world's best capital markets lawyers in PLC Cross Border Handbook; and included among the "500 Best Lawyers in the US" by Lawdragon. Mr. Fitzgerald has written articles and presented seminars on a variety of issues involving international capital markets.

Member

Committee member of the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice Initiatives Member of the American Bar Association Committee on Securities Laws, American Bar

Education

Fordham University School of Law, J.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.A.


Latin America: International firms

Banking and finance

Within: Banking and finance

Paul Hastings LLP is best known for big-ticket energy and infrastructure financings, though it operates across the debt space from syndicated loans to holdco refinancings and hybrid financings involving the capital markets. Key clients include Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Citibank, HSBC, Credit Suisse and Banco Itau. The firm advised HSBC Mexico, as sole lead arranger and bookrunner, on a New York law-governed revolving credit facility to Grupo Televisa, the leading media company in the Spanish-speaking world. It also advised EVM on an $80m private placement of  senior secured notes to refinance the EVM I project, a 100MW open cycle gas-fired power plant in Axapusco, Mexico, subsequently assisting the company with a $740m bank and institutional-investor financing of the 850MW EVM II project, a  combined cycle gas-fired power plant. It 'is a great team to work with, everyone is fully aware of the transaction and ready to respond in a timely and excellent manner'. It 'has sharp lawyers with good social skills and who are capable of identifying the key points of a negotiation'. Robert Kartheiser is 'a very strong player - reasonable and commercial'; he is acclaimed for his ability to operate in both Spanish and Portuguese, and his prominence in large-scale energy and infrastructure financings. Michael Fitzgerald is for many, the market leader in Mexico capital markets issuances, although he also has a fine record in commercial loans and syndicated financings. Joy Gallup is noted for structured debt products, debt restructurings and corporate finance. Arturo Carrillo and Elicia Ling are part of the next generation of partners in this space, with the latter noted for her ability to operate in Spanish and Portuguese, particularly in energy and infrastructure financings. Cathleen McLaughlin provides additional senior expertise in capital markets-driven and hybrid financings. At senior associate level, Thomas Sines has impressed in a series of 4G toll road financings in Colombia. Former head of the Sao Paulo office Roberta Bassegio has joined Marlim Azul Energia. All named individuals are based in New York unless stated.

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Capital markets

Within: Leading individuals

Michael Fitzgerald - Paul Hastings LLP

Within: Capital markets

Paul Hastings LLP remains a dominant force in Mexico, but is spreading its geographic coverage. Brazil has become a more pivotal market for the firm, while Colombia, Peru and Argentina are also providing a growing number of engagements. It is an increasing presence in project bonds, most notably those connected to toll-road infrastructure programmes. Clients include Grupo Industrial Alfa, Sigma Alimentos, Nemak, Axtel, Companhia Energética de Minas Gerais (CEMIG), Grupo Kaltex, Concesión Ruta al Mar, Citigroup, Credit Suisse and JP Morgan. In a landmark deal, it advised the initial purchasers on the $1.64bn Fibra-E offering by Grupo Aeroportuario de la Ciudad de Mexico (GACM) on the Mexican stock exchange; this was the largest IPO in Mexico since 2013. Showcasing its greater prominence in Brazil, it advised the Brazilian power company CEMIG on a $500m bond offering, having advised on its subsidiary CEMIG GT's inaugural bond offering in 2017. The Latin America team is 'very experienced across the board',  provides 'superb attention to detail', 'deep involvement from senior partners' and is 'top tier in Mexico'. The core capital markets team 'have been together for a long time and it shows', with clients indicating that it is 'highly coordinated and engaged', 'always gives good and timely advice', 'very proactive', 'really experienced' and 'always looking for a good and balanced solution'. Michael Fitzgerald is the doyen of the Mexican capital markets and is supported ably by Arturo Carrillo and Joy Gallup. Sao Paulo partner Steven Sandretto is building the firm's presence in Brazil and Cathleen McLaughlin is the primary name on project bonds and hybrid structures. Counsel Pedro Reyes is another senior individual in the team.

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Corporate and M&A

Within: Corporate and M&A

Paul Hastings LLP is further building on its excellent investment bank relationships. The Latin America M&A team has an especially fine record in Peru and Colombia, while Mexico is providing a growing number of deals for a team that benefits from the multitude of corporate relationships established by Michael Fitzgerald, a titan of that particular market. Central America and the Caribbean are also good regions for the M&A group, which is particularly active in retail, energy and infrastructure. The team is 'well trained', 'driven' and has 'an outstanding work ethic and pro-deal attitude'. It is 'able to convey knowledge and simplicity to clients and counterparties' and 'the team has a strong presence in Latin America having done many deals in Colombia, Peru and other countries in the region'. Further south, the practice advised Argentina's YPF on the sale to GE of a 25% interest in YPF EnergĂ­a ElĂ©ctrica, which has two operating assets, five under construction and 11 greenfield projects with a total net capacity of approximately 3.5GW. It also advised Quicorp, the Andean region's leading pharmacy chain, on its $583m acquisition by InRetail PerĂș; and Accendo Banco on its proposed purchase of Deutsche Bank’s Mexican operations; the deal did not close. Robert Leung 'has a commercial background which makes him a dealmaker' and 'clients trust him as he is able to communicate legal issues very clearly, while allowing the client to make an informed decision'. He is 'very knowledgeable and has strong relationships in Colombia' and his 'understanding of the region and culture has allowed him to retain very important clients'. Mike Huang has a similarly strong reputation, as do Luke Iovine and counsel Veronica Rodriguez who are also regular advisers on Latin America M&A transactions. In a significant mid-August 2019 hire, the team was strengthened still further with the high-profile hire of former Sao Paulo office-head Jonathan Kellner from Shearman & Sterling LLP; 'a go getter', he is 'personable, people trust him and has spent years establishing the relationships that he needs' as a result he 'has made a name for himself', provides 'fantastic leadership' and 'is very frank and loyal'.

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United States: Finance

Capital markets: debt

Within: Capital markets: debt

‘Very good on the underwriter side’, Paul Hastings LLP impresses with a number of ‘close-knit relationships that drive its capital markets offering’. In addition, the firm houses a growing issuer practice, which is particularly active in cross-border, and especially Latin America-related transactions. In a recent example of the latter, New York partners Arturo Carrillo and Michael Fitzgerald, who heads the Latin America practice group, advised Mexico-headquartered Sigma Alimentos on a $500m international bond offering by its subsidiary, Sigma Finance Netherlands. Among its underwriter-side engagements, Houston-based of counsel Will Burns advised JP Morgan, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Mizuho Bank, as bookrunners, on a $1bn notes offering by Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP and Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC. New York’s Yariv Katz is also a key contact and advised the joint bookrunners on Blackstone Mortgage Trust’s $220m offering of convertible senior notes.

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Capital markets: equity offerings

Within: Capital markets: equity offerings

The 'solution-oriented' team at Paul Hastings LLP strikes the right note with its ‘thoughtful, creative and practical advice’ combined with ‘consistently great execution’. Widely recognized for its ‘strong presence in Latin America-related deals’, the New York-based group is also noted for its ‘close relationships with underwriters’. In a highlight example of its strong suit, Latin America practice head Michael Fitzgerald teamed up with Arturo Carrillo and Joy Gallup to advise Credit Suisse, as global coordinator, and the initial purchasers on Grupo Aeroportuario de la Ciudad de Mexico’s $1.6bn IPO of Fibra E shares on the Mexican stock exchange. Yariv Katz, praised as ‘a young powerhouse of a lawyer’, advised the joint book-running managers on Sun Communities’ $500m follow-on offering. The group has also recently advised on equity offerings for issuers such as Grupo Traxión, Kratos Defense & Security Solutions and Viking Therapeutics. Other key contacts include securities and capital markets chair Michael Zuppone, who is highlighted by sources as ‘an unflappable and seasoned veteran’.

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Capital markets: global offerings

Within: Leading lawyers

Michael Fitzgerald - Paul Hastings LLP

Within: Capital markets: global offerings

‘Practical, thoughtful and responsive’, Paul Hastings LLP’s practice comprises ‘creative experts in the capital markets’. The New York-headquartered team has a broad geographical reach, with its recent experience spanning mature and emerging markets across the Americas, Europe and Asia. However, the consensus is ‘the firm is a leader in Latin America’, where it is a popular choice for both issuers and banks. Michael Fitzgerald heads up the Latin America practice group and acted alongside Joy Gallup and Arturo Carrillo to advise Credit Suisse, as global coordinator, and the initial purchasers on Grupo Aeroportuario de la Ciudad de MĂ©xico’s $1.6bn IPO of Fibra E shares on the Mexican stock exchange. Fitzgerald and Carrillo also advised Sigma Alimentos on a $500m international bond offering by its Dutch subsidiary, Sigma Finance Netherlands. Outside of Latin America, Yariv Katz, who is ‘incredibly smart and solution-oriented’, acted alongside the London office and real estate partner David Viklund to advise US mall operator Starwood West on a $264m bond offering on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

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Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings

Within: Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings

‘Dedicated to providing excellent service’, Paul Hastings LLP scores highly for its ‘incredibly reliable, thoughtful and innovative team’. The New York-based practice has a distinct emphasis on manager representations, but also brings to bear significant issuer-side experience, particularly in Latin America-related deals. The ‘deeply knowledgeable’ John Cobb leads the group and is noted as ‘a valuable asset on structured deals’; he recently advised the initial purchasers on a $1.4bn senior notes offering related to Meredith Corporation’s acquisition of Time. The group’s ability to plug into its global network on cross-border deals is also a recurring theme among sources; in a recent example of its multi-jurisdictional strength, Cobb acted alongside the London office to advise Goldman Sachs, as representative for the initial purchasers, on Dynegy’s $850m private offering. Arturo Carrillo and Latin America head Michael Fitzgerald are also recommended.

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United States: Real estate

Real estate investment trusts (REITs)

Within: Real estate investment trusts (REITs)

Paul Hastings LLP advises on equity and debt securities offerings, ongoing disclosure and securities compliance matters, property acquisitions, and corporate transactions within the real estate asset management sector. Yariv Katz advised Citigroup, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BMO Capital Markets and RBC Capital Markets, as joint book-running managers, on the follow-on public offering of common stock of Sun Communities, a REIT that operates manufactured housing and recreational vehicle communities. Michael Zuppone, Michael Fitzgerald and Arturo Carrillo are other key advisers. The names listed are in New York.

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