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White & Case LLP

Donald Baker

Tel:
Work +55 11 3147 5601
Email:
White & Case

Work Department

Capital Markets, Mergers & Acquisitions, Project Finance, Latin America, Oil & Gas, Mining & Metals

Position

Partner

Career

To read more, visit: whitecase.com/people/donald-baker


Latin America: International firms

Banking and finance

Within: Banking and finance

White & Case LLP’s broad banking and finance offering continues to impress across Latin America. In addition to having established offices in São Paulo and Mexico City, the firm has prominent finance teams in Miami, New York and Washington DC that serve the Latin America market and ‘delivers services across the financing spectrum’, according to one client. Sabrena Silver joined the New York office from Linklaters LLP in 2017 to add further credibility in highly structured transactions. Since joining the firm, Silver advised Deutsche Bank on a $150m syndicated loan to Colombian national airline Avianca, the transaction taking into account aspects of Colombian law that impact sale of future receivables, US Chapter 11 concerns and receivables generated under a Costa Rican-law, credit card processing agreement. The firm’s longstanding focus on Argentina has paid dividends with a series of finance engagements in the jurisdiction, while its hugely impressive Brazilian borrower client base, ensures a steady pipeline of significant transactions. The São Paulo office advised Fibria International Trade (as borrower) and Fibria Cellulose S (as guarantor) on a $700m unsecured export prepayment loan facility to finance the group’s production and export of cellulose products and to refinance certain existing export related debt. It also represented Petrobras and its subsidiary Petrobras Netherlands on a $1bn syndicated loan to the latter, which is guaranteed by Petrobras and secured by a semi-submersible oil production vessel and an interest in insurance proceeds payable in respect of the vessel. In aviation finance, the Latin America team has also experienced significant growth, thanks in part to the efforts of Miami partner Christian Hansen, who represents the likes of Aeroméxico and Copa Airlines. Acquisition finance and securitisation continue to be major segments for the practice, as is project finance in which the firm has a high market share of Latin America deals in both energy and infrastructure. Miami partner Carlos Viana is ‘a dominant finance lawyer’, who is ‘fully involved in the transaction’, is ‘very responsive and sympathetic to clients’ needs’ and has ‘good knowledge of the industry, products and counterparties’. São Paulo partner John Anderson has made a big impression in Brazil, especially with local borrowers; he is regarded as ‘very smart’, having ‘a lot of integrity’ and being ‘pragmatic’: he ‘focuses on the things that matter and doesn’t waste time on the things that don’t’. New York and Miami partner Jeanine Acevedo is ‘very responsive, patient, and thorough’, and is very well regarded for project finance. Miami’s Fernando de la Hoz is another prominent name, as is head of the São Paulo office Donald Baker. Miami associate Thomas Pate is ‘always responsive and able to fully grasp any concern of the client and how to mitigate it’.

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Capital markets

Within: Leading lawyers

Donald Baker - White & Case LLP

Within: Capital markets

White & Case LLP has further cemented its position as a Latin America-wide heavyweight. Widely regarded as a market leader in Brazil, it has developed a significant market share of SEC-registered equity offerings in Argentina. Moreover, it has further developed its standing in Mexico with the hire of New York partner Taisa Markus, who ‘has an incredible understanding of the Mexican market’, from Paul Hastings LLP; Markus also has wider experience, including in jurisdictions such as Peru and Argentina, and extensive contacts with key investment banks in New York. Along with broad geographic coverage, the firm has wide ranging experience across product and transaction types, including IPOs, high-yield debt, liability management, private placements, project bonds, green bonds and other hybrid products. Offices in New York, Miami, São Paulo and Mexico City ensure that it is well plugged into and acquainted with the region, where its clients include Banorte, Credit Suisse, CYDSA, Fibria, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Loma Negra, QGOG and VM Holding. Demonstrating its growing market share in Argentina, the firm advised leading Argentine cement producer Loma Negra on its $1.1bn IPO of American Depositary Shares on the New York Stock Exchange and ordinary shares on the Bolsas y Mercados Argentinos; this was the largest IPO by any Latin American issuer in 2017 and the third-largest ever by an Argentinian issuer. In another landmark deal, it advised the joint bookrunners and co-manager on the inaugural $2bn cross-border debt security issuance by state-owned oil and gas company Petroperú; the proceeds are intended to finance a large-scale upgrade and modernisation of the Talara Refinery in what was the largest-ever offering by a Peruvian issuer. São Paulo-based head of the Latin America practice Donald Bakerlands clients like no one else in Brazil’ and deserves much of the credit for the firm’s impressive market share in the jurisdiction. New York partner John Vetterli, who operates across the region, is a key member of the team for both underwriters and issuers. New York’s Daniel Nam has a longstanding focus on the region, including in high-yield debt and liability management transactions. Miami partner Mark Bagnall is another key member of the team, while John Guzman plays a pivotal role in São Paulo, acting in both equity and debt deals for Brazilian and other Latin American issuers. New York partner Bibiana Jaimes is an emerging name in Latin America debt and equity deals, including in Brazil.

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Corporate and M&A

Within: Corporate and M&A

White & Case LLP’s global footprint, burgeoning M&A status in New York and Miami, and its substantial presence in Mexico City and São Paulo, are positioning it as a true leader in Latin America M&A. Recent mandates saw the practice act as international counsel to Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo on its $650m acquisition of East Balt I, involving the management of due diligence and regulatory review in 11 jurisdictions. Moreover, its outstanding record in project finance has enabled the firm to advise on a series of transactions involving the trading of energy and infrastructure assets: recent examples include assisting Total SunPower with the sale of its stake in Total SunPower El Pelicano to Phoenix Infrastructure Holdings; and advising Odebrecht on its $1.39bn sale of the 456MW Chaglla hydroelectric power plant in Peru to a consortium led by China Three Gorges Corp. The team is commended for its responsiveness, knowledge of local law and ‘pragmatic approach to solving issues’, with clients recognise the ability of its Mexico group to ‘draw on the resources of other offices’ as necessary. It ‘ranks above the top firms in M&A’, according to clients who also highlight the firm’s ‘excellent’ Mexico team, considered ‘the best’ by some. Miami partner Christian Hansen has extensive cross-border M&A experience (including multi-jurisdictional transactions such as the previously mentioned Grupo Bimbo deal) and is particularly noted for energy and aviation sector transactions. Oliver Brahmst is co-head of the global private equity practice, has a fine record in Brazil deals and was the lead partner on the China Three Gorges transaction. Head of the São Paulo office Donald Baker has virtually unrivalled corporate connections in Brazil, while Vincente Corta Fernández is a key figure in Mexico City. Highly regarded former Mexico City partner Iker Arriola moved to Mexican firm Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C..

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