Firm / Organisation

Salaverri, Burgio & Wetzler Malbran

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Managing Partner: Diego Salaverri
Number of partners: 9
Number of other lawyers: 22

Firm Overview:
Salaverri, Burgio & Wetzler Malbrán is one of the leading business law firms in Argentina, with a reputation for providing sophisticated and high quality legal services in both local and international matters. The firm is widely recognised for its expertise in M&A, private equity, capital markets, banking and financing, restructuring and insolvency, and dispute resolution. The partners of the firm have consistently been counsel of choice for many leading local and international private equity funds, corporations and financial institutions. In the past, and since the firm’s inception in 2012, they have handled several of the most complex cross-border and domestic transactions and legal proceedings in Argentina, including many landmark deals and disputes.

The firm is committed to providing high value added legal advice and innovative solutions to its clients. For such purposes and for each matter trusted to the firm, SBWM assembles teams of seasoned, multi-practice lawyers — many of whom have gained significant expertise from tenures at leading New York based global firms — with a high partner-to-associate ratio.

Main Areas of Practice:

Banking & Finance:

SBWM represents international and local lenders and borrowers in all kind of financings, including acquisitions finance, leveraged buyout finance, project finance and equity investments. Partners are the counsel of choice for Pampa Energía and its subsidiaries, whom they have represented in a number of sophisticated financings, including the financing obtained by Pampa Energía in order to acquire a controlling interest in Petrobras Argentina, and Central Térmica Loma de la Lata’s project finance to convert its open-cycle generating plant into a combined cycle facility. Partners have been repeatedly engaged by their private equity clients to leverage some of their most significant acquisitions, and by market-leading financial institutions to advise them on cross-border and local, secured and unsecured, syndicated and non-syndicated credit facilities.

Capital Markets:
SBWM has extensive experience in securities law, regularly representing leading financial institutions as well as corporate issuers in local and international equity and debt offerings. The firm recently represented Pampa Energía and the holders of certain warrants in the issuance of common shares. (in the form of ADSs) representing 22.5% of Pampa’s capital stock, and the offering of a portion of such ADSs in the US, J. P. Morgan, Citibank and Credit Suisse in a bond offering by IRSA, BofAML and Itaú in a bond offering by Banco Hipotecario; Goldman Sachs and UBS in respect of Banco Macro’s offering of subordinated resettable notes; Citibank and Credit Suisse in a bond offering by the Province of Mendoza; and Transportadora de Gas del Sur S.A. in an international bond offering.

Dispute Resolution:

The firm handles civil, commercial and administrative/ regulatory litigation, national and international arbitration, with specific focus on complex cases. The firm’s team draws significant experience from tenures at national courts and has earned a reputation for their innovative strategies and business-oriented approach. Recently, SBWM successfully advised IEASA in arbitration proceedings initiated by EDF before the ICC’s International Court of Arbitration, and is currently representing several energy companies in multiple arbitration proceedings, both at international and local arbitration panels.

General Corporate:
The firm provides comprehensive advice to a range of local and foreign clients, advising them on most aspects of their business activities in Argentina, including, among others, on corporate governance and commercial agreements.

Insolvency/Debt Restructuring:
SBWM’s partners played a significant role in the debt restructurings of the principal Argentine private sector borrowers that took place after the devaluation of the Argentine peso in 2002, including proceedings involving Telecom, Edenor, Cablevisión, Multicanal, Transener, Fargo, Havanna, OCA, CIESA and Interbaires. More recently, the firm represented financial creditors in the reorganisation proceedings of Metrogas and its controlling shareholder, Gas Argentino. Also, the team is deeply involved (creditors’ side) in restructuring proceedings involving Ribera Desarrollos, a major real estate developer.

Mergers & Acquisitions/Private Equity:
The team has represented leading strategic and private equity players, as well as financial institutions, in several of the largest and most complex M&As that took place since Argentina’s 2001 economic crisis, including, among others, acquisitions of controlling or significant equity stakes in Pampa Energía, Petrobras Argentina, Edenor, TGS and several Coca-Cola products bottling and distribution companies. The team has been actively involved in divestitures carried-out by clients, such as Southern Cross Group’s sale of its indirect controlling interest in CGC, Edenor’s sale of its indirect controlling interest in several electricity distribution companies, Pampa Energía in the sale of a co-controlling interest in TGS and of its downstream business.

Public & Administrative Law:
The firm provides advice on general administrative law (including administrative litigation) and specific regulatory regimes such as electricity (including renewal energy, generation, transmission and distribution), oil and gas (including upstream, midstream and downstream), infrastructure and public works. The firm has also successfully represented clients in public bids.

International Work:
The firm and its partners regularly advise clients in cross-border transactions. They have quarterbacked several multi-jurisdictional Latin American M&A deals along with New York based firms — such as Arca Continental in its acquisition of the US Southwest Coca-Cola Bottling Business Unit and the creation of a joint venture with The Coca-Cola Company to operate all of Arca Continental’s beverage businesses. Other work includes Southern Cross Group’s investments in Ultrapetrol and Estrella International Energy Services, and counselled international clients in acquisitions in other Latin American countries, such as Arca Continental and The Coca-Cola Company in their joint acquisition of a controlling interest in Holding Tonicorp in Ecuador and Corporación Lindley in Perú, and in a corporate restructuring regarding its South American joint ventures.

English, French, German, Spanish.

Representative clients include, among others, Pampa Energía and its subsidiaries, including Transportadora de Gas del Sur, Arca Continental, Grupo Dolphin, Southern Cross Group, Tavistock Group, Lime Rock Partners, The Coca-Cola Company, General Electric, Orígenes, J. P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Citibank, Credit Suisse, BofAML, UBS, BST, HSBC, Monsanto, Metrogas (Chile), Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the Albanesi Group, SACDE, Petroquímica Comodoro Rivadavia, Turner and Transener.