Vicente Corta Fernández | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
 Vicente Corta Fernández
 Vicente Corta Fernández

Vicente Corta Fernández

Partner, Mexico City

T +52 55 5540 9602

T +52 55 5540 9600

E vcorta@whitecase.com

“Deep and valuable knowledge of all the authorities and agencies that are important to the banking business… [He] knows the industry better than anyone else and so his intervention and advice always makes a difference.”

The Legal 500, 2014

Overview

Vicente's practice focuses on the regulatory and transactional aspects of banking, project finance, securities and insolvency matters. His deep and wide-ranging knowledge enables him to offer clients comprehensive legal advice on a broad spectrum of complex financial issues.

The leader of the Firm's restructuring practice in México, Vicente has a strong track record leading high-profile restructuring projects in an array of business sectors. Clients he has represented praise his "particular strength in finding solutions to problems, which he does in a creative manner" (Chambers Latin America 2015). "He is an all-round lawyer who provides sound legal advice to his clients. He is reliable, technically strong, and able to understand the needs of international clients." (Chambers 2017)

Vicente also guides clients through technically complicated derivatives, asset finance and regulatory and compliance issues. Combining a highly focused and thorough approach with an ability to give clear and pragmatic advice, Vicente's advisory practice spans a broad variety of corporate, civil and mercantile matters. Such cases include his successful handling of a number of high-profile shareholder disputes in México.

He also has an exceptionally strong track record in obtaining regulatory authorizations for the incorporation and consolidation of major Mexican financial entities, such as Mi Banco Autofin México, Banco Wal-Mart de México Adelante, Banco Amigo, CIBanco, Bancrea, Banco Fácil (Consubanco), Principal Grupo Financiero, Afore Coppel and Scotia Afore.

Vicente has developed a reputation as a staunch defender of his clients' interests, and he is unfazed by even the most challenging of problems. He displayed these qualities during his distinguished service to his country, developing and implementing difficult yet vital reforms to key financial institutions.

At the request of Mexican President Vicente Fox, he became President of the National Commission for the Retirement Savings System (CONSAR) and implemented a comprehensive reform of the pension system's legal framework and a major overhaul of investment rules. As executive secretary for the government's Bank Savings Protection Institute (IPAB), he won international acclaim for leading the comprehensive overhaul of México's banking system.

Vicente demonstrated a similarly committed approach in positions at the Ministry of Finance, where he was responsible for the legal aspects of the US emergency package to México during the 1995 debt crisis, the restructuring of toll roads and the design of the "Pidiregas" infrastructure projects.

The World Economic Forum named Vicente a Young Global Leader 2006, a distinction only two other Mexicans received that year.

Vicente has been a member or director on the boards of directors of numerous Mexican public sector financial entities, and has advised the World Bank and International Monetary Fund on international financial matters.

Bars and Courts

  • Authorized to practice law in Mexico

Education

  • Master of Laws, University of Warwick
  • Attorney at Law (Abogado), Universidad Iberoamericana

Languages

  • Spanish
  • English

Experience

Banco Mercantil del Norte US$150 Million Repo Agreement, 2017

Vicente represented Banco Mercantil del Norte (Banorte), acting through its Cayman Islands Branch, in an innovative transaction to obtain long-term financing. The transaction was structured by Goldman Sachs using a repo agreement entered into with a special purpose vehicle for an initial amount of US$150 million, and subsequently the SPV issued secured notes due 2037.

Waha Header and Presidio pipeline, 2016

Vicente advised CFE, the Mexican state-owned electric utility, as Mexican counsel, in the execution of an NGPA § 311 natural gas transportation service agreement and an intrastate natural gas transportation service agreement with Trans-Pecos Pipeline LLC in connection with the development and operation of the Waha Header and Presidio Pipeline. Vicente also advised CFE in the financing of the development of the pipeline, arranged by a syndicate of banks. MUFG Union Bank, N.A and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., acted as agents for the lenders.

Banco Mercantil del Norte US$500 Million Subordinated Preferred Capital Notes Offering, 2016

Vicente represented Banco Mercantil del Norte (Banorte), acting through its Cayman Islands Branch, as issuer in the Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of US$500 million in aggregate principal amount of its 5.750% subordinated preferred capital notes due 2031.

Mexican Supreme Court Validates Bylaws of Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico, 2015

Vicente successfully represented Aeropuertos Mexicanos del Pacífico (AMP), the controlling entity of Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico (GAP) in a dispute against Grupo México regarding the validity of anti-takeover provisions contained in GAP’s bylaws. GAP is a public company listed on both the Mexican and the New York stock exchanges that operates 12 airport concessions in México. The validation is a historic decision by México’s judicial branch since it is the first time the Supreme Court has reviewed a case related to the application of the Stock Exchange Law (enacted in 2006).

Comisión Federal de Electricidad US$700 Million Notes Issuance and Offering, 2015

Vicente acted as Mexican counsel representing BBVA Securities Inc., Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated and Goldman, Sachs & Co. as joint lead managers and joint bookrunners in the issuance and offering of US$700 million notes under Rule 144A and Regulation S of the US Securities Act of 1933 by Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), the national electricity company of México. CFE's bond issue was listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and traded on the Euro MTF market by BBVA Securities Inc. The proceeds of the bond issue will be used by CFE for working capital and general corporate purposes in accordance with Mexican laws and regulations.

Fibra Shop Establishment of Five-Year Long and Short Debt Program, Initial MXN 3 Billion Debt, 2015

Vicente represented Fibra Shop, a Mexican real estate investment trust engaged in the acquisition and development of shopping malls across México, in the establishment of a five-year long and short debt program, and the initial MXN 3 billion (approximately US$190 million) debt offering under the program consisting of debt trust certificates (CBs), in a public offering in México. The CBs have been listed on the Mexican Stock Exchange. The proceeds from the offering have been used primarily for the full prepayment of Fibra Shop's senior secured credit facility with BBVA Bancomer and Inbursa, resulting in the termination and release of all security interests created over Fibra Shop’s main real estate properties under the credit facility. This successful transaction contributes to Fibra Shop’s growth plans.

Ramones Phase II North and South Natural Gas Transportation System, 2015

Vicente represented BlackRock, the largest investment manager in the world, and First Reserve, the largest global private equity and infrastructure investment firm exclusively focused on energy, in their acquisition of 45 percent of each of: (i) TAG Pipelines Sur, a company incorporated as a joint venture between PEMEX and GDF Suez, and (ii) TAG Norte Holding, a company incorporated as a joint venture between PEMEX and Sempra’s México unit (IEnova), which is currently developing the Ramones Phase II North Natural Gas Transportation System. Upon closing, this will be the first major PEMEX-sponsored midstream asset to be built in partnership with foreign capital since the approval of México's historic Constitutional Energy Reform in 2013.

Urbi restructuring, 2015

Vicente is currently advising the steering committee in connection with the restructuring of Urbi, one of the three largest housing development companies in México. This high-profile transaction poses a variety of complex obstacles, requiring sophisticated and innovative solutions.

Establishment of US/México cross-border bridge, 2014

Vicente represented Otay-Tijuana Venture LLC, a conglomerate of US and Mexican investors, in an agreement with Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico, a publiclyheld operator of major Mexican airports.

Afore Afirme Bajío MXN 212 million portfolio sale, 2014

Vicente represented Afore Afirme Bajío, S.A. de C.V., a Mexican pension fund manager, in the sale of its entire portfolio for MXN 212 million (US$16.3 million), to Profuturo G.N.P., S.A. de C.V. Afore is a subsidiary of Grupo GNP and the fourth largest fund manager in México, based on assets under management.

Publications

  • Author, "Consumer Protection," a chapter in "Commentaries on Financial Reform," Nacional Financiera, S.N.C. (NAFIN), 2014. According to Jaques Rogozinski, NAFIN’s director, the book helps readers to better understand the financial changes presently being implemented in Mexico, and includes insights about these changes through perceptive analyses authored by lawyers focusing on financial issues.

Awards & Recognition

Líderes Mexicanos Magazine: One of the 300 most influential leaders

Leading Lawyer: Bankruptcy/Restructuring – Mexico; Corporate/ M&A – Mexico; Banking & Finance – Mexico; Capital Markets – Mexico, (Chambers Latin America 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)

Leading Lawyer: Banking & Finance, Corporate/M&A – Mexico, (The Legal 500 Latin America 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)