A&O secures ‘Band 2’ in Projects & Energy and Banking & Finance in Legal 500 Latin America 2021 ranking
27 October 2020
Allen & Overy today announced that Legal 500 Latin America 2021 recognized the firm with a ‘Band 2’ ranking in the region for both Projects & Energy and Banking & Finance.
Projects & Energy
Led by partners Bruno Soares, Dorina Yessios and Sami Mir, the A&O Latin America practice group is recognized for advising on several groundbreaking template deals that are “firsts-of-their-kind,” working in virtually every major sector, including power (renewables, conventional power generation and transmission), transportation (roads, rail, bridges, ports, airports and parking infrastructure), oil and gas and petrochemicals (upstream, midstream and downstream, including offshore drill ships), metals and mining, and water treatment.
A&O’s Latin America practice group is consistently at the forefront of new developments and trends in project financings in Latin America that are critical to advancing the project finance market. This impact is evidenced by the following successes (among many others):
- Advising IDB Invest, IFC and certain ECA-covered lenders in the financing for the design, construction and operation of a dissolving wood pulp plant in Minas Gerais, Brazil (which was awarded 'Infrastructure Financing of the Year (Brazil) and 'Loan on the Year' by LatinFinance in 2020);
- Advised the lenders in connection with the USD550 Ca-Ku-A1 gas compression project in Mexico with borrower Servicios Compresión de Gas Ca-Ku-A1 S.A. Awarded 'Infrastructure Financing of the Year (Mexico)' by LatinFinance in 2020;
- Advising Companhia Siderúrgica do Pecém (CSP), Vale, POSCO and Dongkuk Steel in the restructuring of the USD3.1bn project financing of CSP's integrated steel mill in the State of Ceará, Brazil;
- Advising a bidding consortium led by China Harbour Engineering Co. Ltd in connection with the Primera Línea del Metro de Bogotá – Tramo I PPP project, aimed at financing the construction and operation of Bogotá's first metro line; and
- Advised the Institutional Investors in a 4(a)(2) private placement of senior secured notes issued by subsidiaries of Atlas Renewable Energy Chile, Javiera SpA, the owner of an operating solar project in Chile, and Parque Solar Fotovoltaico Sol del Desierto SpA, the owner of a greenfield solar project in Chile.
Banking & Finance
The A&O Latin America practice group differentiates itself from other firms in the market by its ability to handle any type of financing structure, to include traditional bank and complex project financings, fund and equity investments, private placements, corporate lending, equity bridge financing, bonds, mezzanine financing, acquisition and advantage financings and restructurings.
The group is also recognized for its comprehensive understanding of agency lenders; indeed, A&O is the only law firm to sit on the global legal panel of all of the major Americas agency lenders, including the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IDB Invest) and the IDB Group, the North American Development Bank (NADB), the United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the Export–Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
Examples of A&O’s market leading work in the Banking & Finance space includes advising (among many others):
- Advising IFC in relation to the USD2bn Working Capital Solutions facility to provide funding to existing emerging market banking clients globally for on-lending to micro, small and medium size enterprises (including women-owned business) to address critical liquidity needs arising from the impact of the coronavirus disease pandemic;
- Advised Stichting Andgreen.fund as lender in respect of a term loan ESG financing to Agropecuária Roncador Ltda., as borrower and guaranteed by Soares Penido Obras, Construções e Investimentos S.A. This is a sustainable financing embracing the environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices made to a Brazilian company engaged in integrated cattle ranching, soy and corn production;
- Elecnorte, a subsidiary of Ashmore Fund Colombia, in connection with a financing from IFC and Davivienda for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of a 138km, 110kv regional transmission line to be located in La Guajira, Colombia; and
- HSBC in its various arranger and agent capacities and the other Finance Parties in relation to a Finnvera guaranteed, secured loan to be provided to Klabin S.A. for the expansion of its current paper plant in Ortigueira, Parana, Brazil.
- “The A&O team is well experienced in operating across the Latin American continent. Their skill and expertise in the region is first class;”
- “A&O stands out for having teams committed to the transaction, led by the partner but in which the associates are divided according to the needs of the project. Thus, there are partners leading the negotiation of the project documents while there are others leading the financing documents. I like this way of dividing work;”
- “Dorina Yessios is a fantastic projects and energy partner. She is experienced in operating across multiple jurisdictions, various asset classes, as well as on sponsor side and lenders’ side of a transaction. This has made her adept at finding solutions that work for all parties, leading to efficient document negotiations.”
Legal 500 rankings are determined by feedback from 300,000 in-house peers and access to law firms’ deals and confidential matters, which are independently assessed by their researchers.