Peter Baumgaertner, Paulo Varnieri and Alejandro Landa

H&K in financing acquisition of 13 power plants in Mexico

Holland & Knight, has advised UMB Bank in connection with the financing of the acquisition of 13 power plants currently owned by Spanish multinational electricity company Iberdrola.

The assets were acquired by an acquisition trust managed by Mexico Infrastructure Partners (MIP), advised by Cleary Gottlieb, Greenberg Traurig and Ritch Mueller. The acquisition was announced on 26 February.

The deal, valued at around $6 billion, has been hailed by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador as a “new nationalisation” of the electricity market.

UMB is a subsidiary of UMB Financial Corporation, a US financial services holding company based in Kansas City, Mo. UMB acted as administrative agent in each of the Bridge Credit Agreements, Development Credit Agreements and LC Credit Agreements with a consortium of lending banks. UMB also acted as intercreditor agent under a Collateral Agency and Intercreditor Agreement and a Common Terms Agreement.

Cleary’s finance team included partners Manuel Silva and Jorge Juantorena, associates Jose Andres de Saro and Alejandro Martínez-Inzunza, and international lawyers Jose Eduardo Coronado and Stephanie Plata. Partner Deborah North and associates Elizabeth Hamilton and Sean Kwon advised on U.S. derivatives matters. Partner Matthew Brigham, associate Victoria Ju, and law clerk Mingyu Tang advised on U.S. tax matters. Partner Chase Kaniecki and associate Samuel Chang advised on U.S. sanctions-related matters. Partner Beau Sterling advised on U.S. environmental-related matters. All lawyers are based in New York except Chase Kaniecki, Samuel Chang, and Beau Sterling, who are based in Washington, D.C.

Greenberg Traurig’s team was led on the New York and Mexican law aspects of the acquisition by José Antonio Butrón, shareholder of the Latin America Practice and head of the Mexico City Project & Infrastructure Finance Practice, supported by Project & Infrastructure Finance Practice shareholder Gabriela Palomino and associate Luis Torres. Other key attorneys on the team included Antitrust Litigation & Competition Regulation shareholder Miguel Flores and Energy, Environmental, and Regulatory & Compliance shareholder Erick Hernández, as well as associate Luis Akle together with law clerks from the Mexico City office Natalia Mejía, Diana Cortés, Francisco de Rosenzweig and Paula de Uriarte.

Ritch Mueller’s team comprised partners Gabriel del Valle Mendiola, Asaf Jiménez Adorno, Oscar López Velarde and Brenda Rogel Salgado, and associates Samantha Maasberg López, Héctor Vázquez Mora, Ada Paulina Castillo Rodríguez and Diego Guerrero.

H&K’s team was led by partner Peter Baumgaertner (pictured left) and senior counsel Michael Fruchter, from the New York office, and partner Paulo Varnieri (pictured centre), from Washington, DC. They were assisted by partner Alejandro Landa Thierry (pictured right), senior counsel Aldo González, and associate Rosa María Cuevas in Mexico City.

L Giselle Estrada