John's practice focuses on a variety of cross-border transactions in Brazil and Latin America, including project, bank and acquisition finance, restructuring and capital markets transactions and mergers & acquisitions.
His track record includes representing financial institutions, international investors and Brazilian companies in project financings, Rule 144A and Regulation S project bond offerings, large syndicated loans, the structuring and restructuring of export prepayment facilities and other financing transactions and debt restructurings, as well as equity and debt capital markets transactions. He also advises on cross-border equity investments, acquisitions and related financings.
John has advised and represented clients in deals spanning some of Brazil's most important sectors, including power, infrastructure, oil and gas, sugar and ethanol and paper and pulp.
John has also worked in the Firm's New York office and completed a six-month secondment at GE Commercial Finance Capital Solutions (Equipment Finance Division).
Representation of Citigroup Global Markets, Mizuho Securities USA, Morgan Stanley, and SMBC Nikko Securities America, in their role as initial purchasers, and Barclays Bank and ING Bank, Singapore Branch in their role as co-managers in a Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of US$1.1 billion 6.748 per cent senior secured notes due 2034 by MV24 Capital. It is believed to be the first project bond for an FPSO issued under Rule 144A and Regulation S exemptions. The deal was recently recognized as Offshore Innovation Deal of the Year by Marine Money.
TAG acquisition financing
Representation of a syndicate of ten international and Brazilian banks on the financing of ENGIE S.A.'s and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec's (CDPQ) approximately US$8.6 billion acquisition of 90 percent of Transportadora Associada de Gás S.A. (TAG), the owner of an approximately 4,500 km natural gas pipeline network in Brazil, from Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. – Petrobras. The sale was the largest in terms of dollar value of the divestments undertaken by Petrobras to date and is believed to be one of the largest project financing deals ever in Latin America in terms of deal value. This transaction has been recognized as "Oil & Gas Deal of the Year" by LatinFinance and "Americas Deal of the Year" by Project Finance International.
CELSE LNG-to-power project
Representation of Goldman Sachs, IDB Invest and IFC in connection with the financing of the 1,516 MW thermoelectric power plant and related LNG receiving and gas transportation infrastructure in the State of Sergipe, Brazil. Goldman served as global coordinator, sole book-running manager and sole initial purchaser in the offering by a Luxembourg special purpose vehicle of R$3.2 million 9.850% senior secured notes due 2032, and as sole syndication agent, sole lead arranger, sole lead bookrunner and lender in connection with a loan of R$168.5 million to the Lux SPV. The Lux SPV used the proceeds from the notes and the loan to purchase R$3.37 zero withholding tax Brazilian debentures, which were issued by CELSE - Centrais Elétricas de Sergipe S.A., which also received committed loans from IDB Invest and IFC. Swiss Export Risk Insurance insured 95% of the payment obligations by CELSE under the Brazilian Debentures. The deal was named "Best Bond" and "Best Infrastructure Financing: Brazil" by LatinFinance.
Kallpa and Samay acquisition bridge loan
Representation of Nautilus Energy Partners, a portfolio company of I Squared Capital in the refinancing of a bridge loan obtained in September 2018 by Nautilus Inkia, Nautilus Distributions and Nautilus Isthmus to partially finance the acquisition of the capital stock (25 per cent) of both Samay and Kallpa Generación by the Inkia Energy group. The financing provided for an initial tranche of US$200 million for the refinancing of the Kallpa and Samay acquisition bridge loan with an optional increase in an aggregate amount not to exceed US$238 million.
China Three Gorges Corporation
Representation of the Brazilian subsidiary of China Three Gorges Corporation, a Chinese state owned corporation and one of the world's leading actors in the energy sector, in numerous transactions, including its US$1.2 billion acquisition of Duke Energy Corp.'s Brazilian assets. The deal was awarded Cross-Border M&A Deal of the Year by LatinFinance. John also represented China Three Gorges in connection with the simultaneous sale of one third of the equity interests in Duke Energy Brazil to China Latin America Industrial Cooperation Investment Fund.
Petrobras syndicated loans
Representation of Petroleo Brasileiro S.A.-Petrobras (Petrobras) and its subsidiary Petrobras Global Trading B.V. (PGT), as borrowers, in a US$4.35 billion revolving credit facility provided by a syndicate of seventeen international banks to PGT and guaranteed by Petrobras. John also represented Petrobras and its subsidiary, Petrobras Netherlands B.V., as borrowers, in a US$1 billion syndicated loan provided to Petrobras Netherlands B.V., which is guaranteed Petrobras and secured by a semi-submersible oil production vessel currently chartered in Brazilian.
Santa Terezinha Group restructuring
Representation of the lender syndicate in the restructuring of US$905 million senior secured debt for the Santa Terezinha Group, a major sugar and ethanol producer in Parana, Brazil. The restructuring was a year-long task involving more than 23 financial institutions, 8 law firms, 2 financial advisor entities and 3 business services provider entities. The firm's role involved counselling the syndicate lenders' restructuring of two syndicated facilities as well as separate facilities for two exiting lenders.
Quiport bond offering
Representation of Corporación Quiport S.A. (Quiport) and its shareholders CCR S.A. (Brazil), Odinsa S.A. (Colombia) and HAS Development Corporation (USA) in connection with the first international bond supported by the credit of a corporate entity out of Ecuador. Quiport is the concessionaire that operates, maintains and develops the Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito, the largest airport in Ecuador in terms of passenger traffic.
Leading Individual, Banking and Finance, The Legal 500 Latin America, 2019
Leading Lawyer, Banking & Finance, Brazil, Chambers Latin America, 2020
Leading Lawyer, Energy & Natural Resources, Chambers Latin America, 2020