International Financial Law Review - Euromoney
2014

Financial & CorporateTIER 1

Guyer & Regules maintained its strong showing in the market over the past year. “I have been working with them for 25 years and they are one of the few firms that have consistently evolved in the local market,” a client notes. “They are experts in the local business climate and international market and they keep ears and eyes open to make sure you’re working with the best of the best all over the world. It’s in their culture to innovate.” Competitors have agreed. “In such a small market, they’re the only competitive firm,” one says. “They’re very traditional with good clients and great lawyers.” Another adds that the firm is an “important and incumbent player in the market and very well organised attracting a lot of work.”

The team’s expertise in banking and finance has impressed clients. “They worked for me in the financial services sector and they’re undoubtedly the best in this,” one says. “Their clients are the leading banks in the country.” A peer says that the firm’s banking and finance practice has a “very good list of clients” and that it is “undoubtedly strong and the best in the market.”

Nicolás Herrera, Nicolás Piaggio and Álvaro Tarabal all lead the firm’s finance and corporate practice. Clients have called them “excellent and responsive” lawyers.

DEALS

In November 2012, the firm assisted Citigroup and BNP Paribas in a cash tender offer and Exchange Offer for $800 million, 4.125% bonds due 2045 by the Republic of Uruguay. Herrera and Piaggio teamed up to assist Chilean casino operator Enjoy to acquire a stake in the Punta del Este resort in Uruguay owned by US rival Caesars Entertainment. Enjoy payed $139.5 million in cash and stock for a 45% stake in Caesar’s Baluma subsidiary.

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Energy & Infrastructure

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Guyer & Regules boasts the largest energy and natural resources team in Uruguay. The firm advises on public bids called by state-owned company ANCAP and in the negotiations in the day-to-day business of oil companies Total, BG and Tullow Oil and natural-gas transporter Gasoducto Cruz del Sur.

“We found Guyer & Regules knowledgeable about the growing renewable market in Uruguay and with respect to offshore investment and corporate issues,” one client says. “Guyer & Regules performed well. What is key to us in transaction business is the ability to identify issues early, be clear about those issues, be rigorous in considering the issues but also be creative and cooperative in finding solutions and working with all sides to the transaction to find a way through.”

Last year, three different teams of Guyer & Regules assisted Total, BG and Tullow, three of the winning parties in a second bidding round for Uruguay’s offshore exploration blocks organised by the country’s state energy company ANCAP. The transaction valued $3.5 billion, and BG was awarded three blocks, while Tullow and Total were both granted a piece.

Guyer & Regules advised GDF Suez in the setup of its local subsidiary who entered an $1.2 billion agreement with Gas Sayago to design, finance, construction, establishment, operation and management the LNG (liquefied natural gas) plant, including the construction of the port terminal, which will be established in the west side of the bay of Montevideo in Punta de Sayago. The agreement was finalised in October 2013.

Over a two-month period in 2013, the firm advised GDF Suez in the negotiation and execution of a $1 billion agreement for the design, finance, construct, establish, operate and maintain the LNG (liquefied natural gas) plant with a BOOT (build-own-operate-transfer) structure. Guyer & Regules also advised GDF Suez in the negotiation and execution of an EPC contract for the construction of the LNG plant and port terminal with Brazilian construction company OAS and as to local law matters in the TCP with Japanese Mitsui OSK Lines relating to the floating regasification and storage unit.

In April 2013, partner Juan Manuel Mercant counseled Luz de Mar, Luz de Loma and Luz de Río in obtaining $140 million worth of project financing as well as an equity investment for three wind farms – one of the first times a project finance structure has been used in the country. The wind farms will be located near Florida and Flores, two towns in the south of Uruguay, and will have a total installed capacity of 88MW. The wind farms’ output will be sold to Uruguay’s state electricity company, UTE, through a 20-year off-take agreement.