Román González Melo

Associate, Mexico City

Biography

Overview

Román joined White & Case in 2012. He is part of our Mergers & Acquisitions team and his practice is currently centered on antitrust law. He has developed a unique blend of experience in complex and highly technical domestic and international projects that allows him to provide legal advice on both private and public law matters.

Román has regularly represented and advised national and foreign clients before the Federal Competition Commission and the Federal Telecommunications Institute.

He has represented clients in all types of procedures before the Mexican antitrust agencies (including gun-jumping, cartel and vertical restraints investigations and special investigations on the existence of barriers to entry, essential facilities or effective competition).

Clients represented by Román are active in a wide range of highly regulated or complex markets including digital platforms, e-commerce, mining, automotive, energy, banking, real estate, food production, retail, telecoms, home and industrial appliances, oil & gas, asset management, electronics and pharmaceuticals.

He has also provided antitrust compliance and training advice to boards of directors and senior management of the pharmaceutical, chemical and energy industries.

Román's track record includes two of the largest national projects in the communications sector: the first national digital TV broadcasting network, and the landmark multi-party, public-private project for the operation and deployment of a national wholesale services telecommunications network (Red Compartida).

In addition, Román has corporate governance experience in the banking sector. On behalf of White & Case, he has acted as temporary legal counsel and has led comprehensive AML and legal risk audits for Mexican subsidiaries of global banking institutions.

Before joining White & Case, he served as the legal advisor on enforcement and policy matters under the former head of investigations at the Federal Economic Competition Commission.

Bars and Courts
Authorized to practice law in Mexico
Education
Attorney at Law
Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM)
LLM
Master of Laws
Columbia University
Law School
Languages
English
Spanish

Experience

Román has helped numerous international clients obtain antitrust clearances before the Federal Economic Competition Commission ("COFEC") and the Federal Telecommunications Institute ("IFT"). Recently, he has advised the clients on obtaining antitrust clearances in Mexico in the following transactions:

  • Oxiteno-Indorama (2022). Represented Ultrapar Participações previously in connection with its 2022 sale of Oxiteno, one of the leading surfactant producers, to Indorama.
  • Faurecia-Hella (2022). Represented both Faurecia and Hella to obtain clearance from COFECE in connection with Faurecia's ~€6.8 billion acquisition of a 79.5 percent stake in HELLA GmbH & Co.
  • Sempra Energy-KKR/ADQ (2021 – 2022). Represented Sempra Energy to obtain clearance from COFECE in connection with its ~US$3.37 billion sale of a 20 percent stake in Sempra Infrastructure Partners ("SIP") to KKR, a global investment firm and its ~US$1.78 billion sale of a 10 percent stake in SIP to Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, a sovereign investment fund.
  • Kansas City Southern-Canadian Pacific (2021). Represented Kansas City Southern before both COFECE and IFT to obtain clearance in connection with its 2021 ~US$31 billion sale to Canadian Pacific Railway Limited.
  • I Squared Capital-KIO (2021). Represented I Squared Capital before both COFECE and IFT in connection with its acquisition of Sixsigma Networks ("KIO Networks"), the important Mexican data center and IT services company.
  • China Communications Construction Company-Mota-Engil (2021). Represented both China Communications Construction Company ("CCCC") and Mota-Engil in a merger control proceeding in connection with CCCC's acquisition of an investment stake in Mota-Engil.
  • ADQ-Louis Dreyfus Company (2020). Represented both ADQ, a sovereign fund of Abu Dhabi, and Louis Dreyfus Company, one of the world's most important merchants and processors of agricultural goods, before COFECE in connection with ADQ's acquisition of an indirect 45 percent stake in Louis Dreyfus Company.
  • Metso-Outotec (2020). Represented both Metso Corporation ("Metso") and Outotec Oyj, ("Outotec"), leading global high-tech mining equipment providers, to obtain clearance from COFECE regarding the combination of Metso's mining division (Metso Minerals) with Outotec's operations.
  • Saudi Aramco-SABIC (2019 – 2020). Represented Saudi Aramco, the leading Saudi Arabia-based petroleum and natural gas company, before COFECE in connection with its approximately US$69.1 billion acquisition of a complementary percent interest in Saudi Basic Industries Corporation ("SABIC").
  • Newmont-Goldcorp (2019). Represented both Newmont and Goldcorp before COFECE in connection with Newmont's 2019 US$10 billion acquisition of Goldcorp.

Other relevant representations

Between 2020 and 2021, Román was part of the team that successfully represented a major bank in an alleged cartel investigation, as well as a JV company and a major energy company and its investor in alleged gun-jumping investigations.

Román co-designed and led Kansas City Southern de México's successful defense and strategy before the Federal Economic Competition Commission during its antitrust investigation on the competition conditions of the railway services markets (2017).

Román represented, prepared all legal submissions and corporate documents and obtained antitrust clearance on behalf of the winning ten-company consortium ("Altán Redes") led by Morgan Stanley Infrastructure and the International Finance Corporation ("IFC"), in Mexico's first landmark international public tender for the operation and deployment of a national wholesale services telecommunications network ("Red Compartida") (2016 – 2017).

Román participated in the incorporation of Mexican investment vehicles, drafted domestic investment agreements and obtained antitrust clearance in Mexico in connection with BlackRock's and First Reserve's first foreign capital co-investment in midstream assets in Mexico since the 2013 Energy Reform for the construction of the Ramones II international natural gas pipelines, the largest gas transportation system built in 40 years (2015).

Román advised, co-drafted all legal submissions and applications and obtained antitrust clearance on behalf of Cadena Tres I, a subsidiary of media conglomerate Grupo Imagen, for the granting of a 20-year concession under the first-ever public tender for a new national digital TV broadcasting network, named Imagen Televisión (2014 – 2015).

Román drafted Pfizer (Mexico)'s antitrust compliance guidelines and provided training to its board of directors (2015).

Additional experience

Román has advised on domestic law components, drafted domestic closing agreements and corporate documents, and facilitated antitrust approval in Mexico in connection with the following transactions: Haier Group Corporation's US$5.4 billion acquisition of General Electric Company's global home appliances business (2016); Grupo Turin's acquisition by Mars, Inc. (2015 – 2016); Panasonic Corporation's US$1.5 billion global acquisition of Hussmann (2015); and Tyson Foods' US$400 million sale of its Mexican production assets to JBS (Pilgrim's Pride Corporation (2015).

Román acted as temporary general counsel and pro-secretary of the Board of BNY Mellon's subsidiary bank in Mexico as part of a ten-month secondment; oversaw the bank's internal legal matters in preparation for its sale and merger with Mexican bank CI Banco, and obtained all regulatory approvals in connection therewith (2013 – 2014). Román assisted HSBC (Mexico) Trust Division in preparing its most comprehensive legal risk audit to date (AML, commercial law and regulatory). He led and oversaw a team of 16 junior associates during the process (2014 – 2015). 

Publications

"Effectiveness of regulations on inter-state commerce restrictions," In Pampillo & Munive (Comps.)

"Encyclopedic Work in Homage to the Escuela Libre de Derecho's First Century," Volume on Antitrust Law, pp. 123-214, 1st edition, Porrúa (2012)

Awards and Recognition

Recognized by The Legal 500 as Rising Star in Antitrust in Mexico (2022 Edition)

Recognized by The Legal 500 as Rising Star in Antitrust in Mexico (2021 Edition)