Roberto Ríos Artigas

Local Partner, Mexico City

Biography

Overview

Roberto Ríos Artigas joined White & Case in 2008. Roberto's practice concentrates on Project Finance, Infrastructure and Public-Private Partnerships. In addition, he has extensive experience in local and cross-border financings, securities, mergers and acquisitions as well as in private equity transactions.

Roberto has advised both federal and state governmental entities and agencies in the legal design and instrumentation of public-private partnerships and has also represented lenders and sponsors in connection with public biddings related to government procurement and public works, concession titles, permits, engineering, procurement and construction contracts, operation and maintenance contracts and investments in infrastructure projects.

Roberto has also participated in the financing of a wide range of projects, including toll roads, water, energy and real estate projects.

Bars and Courts
Authorized to practice law in Mexico
Education
LLM
Master of Laws
New York University School of Law
Advanced Certificate in Law and Business
New York University
Leonard N. Stern School of Business
Postgraduate Degree in Commercial Law
Escuela Libre de Derecho
Attorney at Law (Licenciatura en Derecho)
Universidad Panamericana
Languages
English
Spanish

Experience

With respect to representative and recent transactions, Roberto participated in the following deals:

St. Regis Resort in Punta Mita
financing Roberto represented Vertex Real Estate and Grupo MRP, a 50:50 joint venture, as borrower in the US$84 million long-term financing extended by BBVA Mexico for the acquisition from Promotora Hotelera Punta Mita, S. de R.L. de C.V., of the hotel known as the St. Regis Resort, and the related assets of the hotel business. Roberto also represented the joint venture, as borrower, under a US$10.8 million VAT facility to finance VAT applicable to the acquisition of the related assets of the hotel business. Marriott will continue to operate the hotel. The Firm helped navigate this strategic transaction in the midst of the complex environment caused by COVID-19’s effects on the travel and leisure market in Mexico.

Solar power project financing in Hermosillo
Representation of SMBC in its role as sole lead arranger, lender and administrative agent in the long-term financing for the development, construction, operation and maintenance of a 100 MWac greenfield solar photovoltaic generation project in Hermosillo, State of Sonora, Mexico. The borrower is a joint venture among Canadian Solar, a leading renewables energy company, Korea Electric Power Corporation and Sprott, an equity fund. The financing is supported by a PPA awarded in Mexico’s Third Long Term Renewable Energy Auction, and we are advising SMBC in the midst of a complex regulatory environment in Mexico as result of the administrative orders issued by the Ministry of Energy and the Mexican National Energy Control Centre (CENACE) affecting the Mexican renewable energy market in Mexico. The operation of the power plant will represent a significant impact and commitment to the reduction of CO2 emissions in Mexico.

Solar power project financing in Navojoa
Representation of SMBC in its role as sole lead arranger, lender and administrative agent in the long-term financing for the development, construction, operation and maintenance of a circa 102 MWac greenfield solar photovoltaic generation project in the Municipality of Navojoa, State of Sonora, Mexico. The borrower is a joint venture among Canadian Solar, a leading renewables energy company, Korea Electric Power Corporation and Sprott, an equity fund. The financing is supported by a PPA awarded in Mexico’s Third Long Term Renewable Energy Auction, and we are advising SMBC in the midst of a complex regulatory environment in Mexico as result of the administrative orders issued by the Ministry of Energy and the Mexican National Energy Control Centre (CENACE) affecting the Mexican renewable energy market in Mexico.

US$55 Million Project Financing for Solar Plant
Represented Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior and Banco Sabadell as lenders in connection with a US$55 million project financing of a 115.5 megawatt solar project located in the state of Durango, Mexico, including all aspects of due diligence related to the project. The sponsor of the project is EOSOL Energy de México. We also represented Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior as lender of a VAT facility for US$15 million to finance the VAT associated to the project costs.

Ramones Phase II North and South Natural Gas Transportation System
Represented BlackRock and First Reserve in their acquisition of 45 percent of: (i) TAG Pipelines Sur, a company incorporated as a joint venture between PEMEX and GDF Suez (ENGIE), and (ii) TAG Norte Holding, a company incorporated as a joint venture between Pemex and Sempra's Mexico unit (IEnova). TAG Pipelines Sur is in charge of the Ramones Phase II South Natural Gas Transportation System, a new natural gas pipeline of circa 291.5 km and TAG Norte Holding is in charge of the Ramones Phase II North Natural Gas Transportation System, a new natural gas pipeline of circa 441 km. This was the first major PEMEX-sponsored midstream asset to be built in partnership with foreign capital since the approval of Mexico's historic Constitutional Energy Reform in 2013.

Midstream Project
Represented one of the world's largest commodity trading and logistics companies as user in a petroleum products' midstream project located in Mexico. The mandate included the negotiation of the transportation, storage and dock services agreements as well as the related general terms and conditions.

Metrobus Línea 7
Represented Operadora Línea 7 and Sky Bus Reforma, the concessionaires behind Mexico City's Metrobus Line 7. Led work for these entities in obtaining a US$50 million loan. The concessionaires used the credit line to pay 85 percent of the cost of the buses needed for Metrobus Line 7. Metrobus Line 7 is the continuation of a series of roadways dedicated to buses in Mexico City, called Metrobús. The special bus network was first rolled out in 2005. Once complete, Line 7 will be served by 85 buses, which will stop at 31 stations along a 15-kilometer stretch of road, connecting the metro station of Indios Verdes to the Paseo de la Reforma.

State of Puebla Toll Roads Project
Represented the Government of the State of Puebla in the awarding of a 30-year concession title for the operation, exploitation and maintenance of three toll roads located in Puebla.

Red de Carreteras de Occidente
Advisor to Red de Carreteras de Occidente, and its shareholder Goldman Sachs & Co., in the acquisition of two federal highways in Mexico: Irapuato—La Piedad and Querétaro—Irapuato. The transaction involved the renegotiation of the credit facilities with the lenders and the negotiation of the amendments to the long-term services agreements (Contrato de Prestación de Servicios a Largo Plazo (PPS) with the Federal Ministry of Communication and Transport.

Atotonilco Wastewater Treatment Plant
Represented Impulsora del Desarrollo y el Empleo en América Latina (IDEAL), as leader of the consortium formed by Controladora de Operaciones de Infraestructura (CONOISA), Atlatec, Acciona Agua, Desarrollo y Construcciones Urbanas, and Green Gas-Pioneer Crossing Energy, in the project financing of Aguas Tratadas del Valle de México, an entity incorporated as a special purpose vehicle for the construction of a wastewater treatment plant, PTAR Atotonilco, to be located in the valley of Tula, Hidalgo. The PTAR Atotonilco project was the largest wastewater treatment plant project in Latin America and the third largest water treatment plant in the world.

El Realito Aqueduct (Acueducto el Realito)
Advised Controladora de Operaciones de Infraestructura (CONOISA) as leader of the consortium formed by Aqualia Infraestructuras, Aqualia Gestion Integral, and Servicios de Agua de Trident, in the project financing of Aquos el Realito, an entity incorporated as a special purpose vehicle for the construction and operation of "El Realito Aqueduct" in the state of San Luis Potosi.

Zapotillo Wastewater Treatment Plant and Aqueduct
Represented the consortium formed by Korea Water Resources Corporation, Samsung C&T Corporation, TECHINT, Samsung Engineering and VISE in preparing its proposal for an international public bid before the National Water Agency (CONAGUA), related to a 25-year concession for the design, financing, construction, equipment, operation and maintenance of a water treatment plant, including an aqueduct to be located in the states of Jalisco and Guanajuato.

Los Remedios – Ecatepec Highway
Represented Viabilis Infraestructura, a special purpose vehicle formed by Controladora de Operaciones de Infraestructura (CONOISA) in a project financing for the construction, operation and exploitation of Los Remedios—Ecatepec Highway in the State of Mexico and Mexico City.

 

In connection with securities and private equity transactions, Roberto has participated in several public offerings of structured instruments specially tailored to allow pension funds to invest in private equity projects (private equity-linked notes "Certificados de Capital de Desarrollo" (CKDs), such as the following:

PineBridge Fund of Funds CKD
Advised PineBridge Investments a multi-asset class investment manager, and its subsidiary, PineBridge Investments de México, in connection with a public offering of CKDs issued by a Fund of Funds. This was one of the first Fund of Funds CKDs, and one of the first structures to implement a capital calls mechanism. The proceeds are being invested in private equity funds focused on Mexican companies and projects located in Mexico.

Abraaj Mexico Advisers CKD
Represented The Abraaj Group, a leading private equity investor in global growth markets and its subsidiary in Mexico, Abraaj Mexico Advisers, in connection with a public offering of CKDs issued by the CKD Fund. The Abraaj-managed CKD Fund will provide growth capital investments to Mexican mid-cap businesses. The investors in CKDs include several Mexican private pension funds, insurance companies and high net worth individuals.

Private Equity Investments by PineBridge Fund of Funds CKD
Represented PineBridge Fund of Funds CKD in connection with investments in several private equity funds located in Mexico and abroad, focused on investments in targeted Mexican companies.

 

Additionally, Roberto has participated in major international corporate and financial transactions, including, among others, advising Mexican companies in cross-border secured loans. Representative transactions that Roberto has worked on in this regard include advising:

IDB Invest financing for Hifin
Representation of IDB Invest in the USD$20 million financing to Hifin Solution, S.A. de C.V., the financial arm of the company Hitec Global Holding Limited ("Hi-Tec Group"), to finance the acquisition of high-precision machines among micro, small and medium-sized companies in Mexico. Hi-Tec Group is the leading distributor in Mexico of high-precision, computer numerical control machinery used to improve manufacturing processes.

Consorcio Comex debt restructuring
Consorcio Comex, a leading Mexican paint manufacturer, with its collateralized debt restructuring for approximately US$480 million with six Mexican banks (BBVA Bancomer, Banco Nacional de México, HSBC México Scotiabank Inverlat, Santander Mexicano and Banco Multiva). Loan proceeds were used to pay existing debt and for working capital purposes.

Kansas City Southern de México, Credit Facility
Kansas City Southern de México, in a certain credit agreement with various financial institutions headed by The Bank of Nova Scotia and Banc of America Securities LLC, as joint lead arrangers and joint bookrunners, secured with locomotives, cars and rolling stock.

Pfizer's sale to KKR of Pfizer's Capsugel business
Capsugel, the world leader in hard capsules and an innovator in drug-delivery systems.

Publications

Thesis, Public and Private Partnerships, Long Term Services Agreements, 2005, Universidad Panamericana School of Law.

Article, The Public and Private Sectors, Fall 2005, Diké, Universidad Panamericana School of Law.