Law Firm of the Year: Latin America - Cleary Gottlieb
January 17, 2018 | Peter Agra
Healthy financing demands from Mexico to Brazil called for innovative legal advice
Cleary Gottlieb remains a leading law firm in Latin America, with better-than-expected results for the firm and the market in 2017. In addition to the record highs in the bond markets and the recovery in Brazil’s equity markets, debt restructuring remained a big part of the region’s financing.
“People were surprised by the health of the market and ability to get deals done in Brazil and Mexico,” says a partner at the firm. “All in all, 2017 was a busier year than we had expected, except for Argentina.”
Cleary worked on some notable transactions in the region, several of which won awards for Deals of the Year. The firm advised IEnova, which won Equity Follow-on of the Year.
IEnova raised 27.1 billion pesos ($1.4 billion) to repay short-term acquisition financing, the largest transaction in the equity markets within the period, a second partner at the firm says.
Cleary also was involved in the Local Currency Deal of the Year for Uruguay, which staged its first cross-border appearance since 2015. The South American sovereign raised the equivalent of $1 billion in 9.875% 2022 peso-denominated paper.
Looking at 2018, the partners predict that government and corporate issuers will again set an ambitious financing agenda in Argentina. The government has unveiled several road projects, which require $8.05 billion in investments, some of which could be funded through the capital markets.
Meanwhile, the markets will continue to finance government power auctions and energy infrastructure developments in Argentina. Banco Supervielle and Banco Galicia have already tapped the equity markets, and one Cleary partner says several more equity deals are currently in the pipeline. LF