Sidley’s representation of Grupo Financiero León in a business combination with Centro Financiero BHD has been shortlisted in the M&A category of Latin Lawyer's ninth annual Deal of the Year Awards. The winners will be announced on Thursday, March 19, during a ceremony at the Hotel Unique in São Paulo.
The transaction, facilitated in tandem with co-counsel Squire Patton Boggs Peña Prieto Gamundi in Santo Domingo, is the largest in the history of the Dominican financial sector. It involved the combination of two Dominican financial groups, including the merger of their banking subsidiaries, and took more than a year to complete because of the complexities of integrating the parties’ assets, subsidiaries and shareholding arrangements. The deal required the negotiation of multiple agreements, most of which were in Spanish.
Putting the transaction and possible reverberations from it in context, Michael Yanowitch, a partner in the firm’s New York office, said, “This is a monumental deal for the Dominican banking sector. Since this was a combination of two financial groups, as opposed to an acquisition, it is potential precursor for other similarly structured deals involving Latin American clients.”
Senior counsel Andrew Quale of Sidley assisted Yanowitch with the transaction, which closed in January 2014. The transaction produced the fifth largest private bank in Central America and the second largest banking group in the Dominican Republic. It also included the purchase of interests in the BHD holding company held by the Spanish bank Sabadell and the International Finance Corporation and a restructuring of the interests in Banco León held by Darby Pro-Banco, a Latin American financial sector fund.
Latin Lawyer's Annual Charity Awards Ceremony will feature Deal of the Year Awards in the categories of Corporate Finance, M&A, Restructuring, Project Finance, Disputes, Regulatory and Private Equity. Money raised will support efforts to boost pro bono work in the region.