Victor J. DeSantis

Partner Of Counsel, Washington, DC

Biography

“Victor DeSantis receives glowing praise from sources, who label him ‘extraordinary.’ His ability to solve problems and his outstanding commitment are greatly valued by clients, who go on to highlight his ‘strong sector experience.’”
Chambers Global

Overview

Victor DeSantis works on a variety of international and US matters, with a focus on international project finance and other cross-border transactions.

His clients, including project sponsors, multilateral and commercial lenders and export credit agencies, benefit from his experience and commitment to unraveling and progressing complex, high-stakes transactions.

For more than a decade, Victor has been consistently recognized by Chambers and other publications, globally, in the US and locally in Washington, DC, for his calm and constructive approach to transactions and the flair, innovation and quality that he brings to client work.

Bars and Courts
District of Columbia Bar
New York State Bar
Education
JD
Harvard Law School
BA
Yale University
Languages
English

Experience

Odebrecht Offshore Drilling Finance Ltd. – US$1.7 billion offering
Victor represented the initial purchasers and co-managers in a Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of US$1.7 billion of 6.75% senior secured notes due 2022 by Odebrecht Offshore Drilling Finance Limited. The proceeds were used to refinance the ODN I and ODN II offshore oil drillships and the Norbe VI semi-submersible drilling rig. The issuance received an investment grade rating and involved legal issues in Brazil, England, Panama, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands and the United States. According to Latin Lawyer, this transaction was the largest-ever project bond offering in Latin America. This innovatively structured transaction was named 2013 Latin America Oil & Gas Deal of the Year by Project Finance International magazine and 2013 Latin American Upstream Oil & Gas Deal of the Year by Project Finance magazine.

Construction contract amendments and US$400 million funding for the Panama Canal expansion project
Victor represented Grupo Unidos por el Canal, S.A. (GUPC), as contractor for the design and construction for the Panama Canal expansion project, one of the largest civil works projects in the world, which has drawn international attention from publications including The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Economist. Victor was involved in the negotiation and execution of a variation agreement to restructure the construction contract for the project, as well as in the US$400 million financing for additional funding.

Finance for international submarine cable network
Victor advised a consortium of financial institutions, including International Finance Corporation (IFC), European Investment Bank, African Development Bank, KfW and Agence Française de Développement, regarding a landmark submarine fiber optic cable project, the Eastern African Submarine Cable System (EASSy). This project aims to provide high-quality internet and international communications services to connect 21 African countries to one another, and to the rest of the world.

Financing drillships for oil exploration
Victor represented Citigroup Global Markets, ING Bank N.V. and BNP Paribas as lead arrangers in the 2012 financing of the Amaralina Star and Laguna Star drillships, chartered to Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras), for oil exploration and production activities off the coast of Brazil.

Gold mine finance
Victor represented the sponsors in the financing of a gold mining project in Uzbekistan.

Financing of pipe-laying support vessels
Victor represented DNB Bank ASA, as mandated lead arranger and administrative agent, in the project financing to a joint venture formed by Technip and Odebrecht Óleo e Gás for the construction, operation and charter to Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras) of two pipe-laying support vessels, for a value of approximately US$1 billion. Both vessels are being constructed by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd., the obligations of which are supported by The Export-Import Bank of Korea. This complex transaction involved two export credit agencies (K-SURE and GIEK) and nine lenders, with legal issues in a variety of jurisdictions including Brazil, Korea, The Netherlands, Austria, the US and Europe.

Award-winning project finance deal
Victor represented Banco Santander, HSBC, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and Banco do Brasil as initial purchasers in a deal that won multiple awards, including Infrastructure Deal of the Quarter Century 2013 by LatinFinance magazine: the Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of US$1.5 billion senior secured notes by Odebrecht Drilling Norbe VIII/IX Ltd.

Offshore Drilling Holdings S.A. – US$950 million issuance
Victor represented Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, as global coordinators, joint bookrunners and initial purchasers, and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and Santander Investment Securities Inc., as joint bookrunners and initial purchasers in the inaugural issuance by Offshore Drilling Holding S.A. (ODH) of US$950 million in its 8.375% senior secured notes due 2020. Victor helped to implement a ground breaking hybrid structure to provides flexibility to finance future vessels. This complex deal involved legal issues in multiple jurisdictions including Belgium, the Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Panama, Portugal, Seychelles and the United Kingdom.

Power project in Czech Republic
Victor representing IFC on the US$292 million financing of the Kladno power project in the Czech Republic, sponsored by NRG and El Paso.

Awards and Recognition

Project Finance, Chambers Global

Projects - USA (National, DC), Chambers USA

Euromoney's Guide to the World's Leading Project Finance Lawyers

Project Finance, The Legal 500 — United States

Project Finance, IFLR 1000

The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers

The Best Lawyers in America