Vial y Palma advises mining company on EPC Contracts

27 March 2002

The law firm Vial y Palma, Abogados has acted for Nittetsu Mining Co Ltd in the negotiation and execution of three EPC (Engineering Procurement and Construction) contracts for the construction of a copper ore crushing, milling and flotation plant, and for transportation and underground tailing pipeline systems. All are located in the III Region of Copiapó of Chile, one of the world's leading copper-producing areas.

Prudential Financial enters Mexican private pension industry

22 March 2002

In an expansion of its business in Mexico, the US financial services provider Prudential Financial has completed its purchase of substantially all of IXE Grupo Financiero’s 50 per cent stake in Afore XXI, SA de CV, the ninth- largest private pension manager in Mexico. The transaction, agreed at the end of January, closed on March 19 for US$128 million.

Morrison & Foerster, Pérez Alati and Shearman & Sterling advise on US$270-million Banco Rí­o restructuring

22 March 2002

Argentina’s second-largest privately-owned bank, Banco Río de la Plata SA, has become one of the first financial institutions in the country to undergo restructuring in response to the economic crisis.

Pinheiro Guimarães advises Brazilian steel giant on first local debt offer for nearly a decade

22 March 2002

In its first foray into the local debt market since it was privatised in 1993, Brazil's largest steel manufacturer, Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional (CSN), has concluded a public offer of unsecured debentures in the local market totalling R$690 million (approx US$294.62 million). Pinheiro Guimarães - Advogados advised CSN on the transaction, which closed on March 1.

ASSA plans US$128.5 million bond issue

22 March 2002

The highway concessionaire Sociedad Concesionaria Autopista del Sol SA (ASSA) is planning a local issuance of long-term UF bonds worth approximately US$128.5 million, insured by Financial Security Assurance Inc (FSA). The transaction was registered by the Chilean Superintendencia de Valores y Seguros on March 8, and is expected to be completed by mid-April.

Baker & McKenzie wages war on Colombia's fake perfumes

22 March 2002

A series of raids on perfume manufacturers, retailers and exporters in Colombia has netted a massive haul of counterfeit merchandise bearing the trademarks of the world’s best-known perfumiers, including Chanel, Gucci, Giorgio Armani, L’Oreal, Dior and Calvin Klein.

Tozzini and Pinheiro Neto advise on Bradesco's US$153-million acquisition of Banco Cidade

22 March 2002

The consolidation of Brazil's banking sector continues apace with the country’s largest private bank, Banco Bradesco SA, completing its purchase of Banco Cidade, a small bank with assets of around R$2 billion (US$853.6 million). The R$366 million (US$153 million) acquisition was closed on February 24 through Banco BCN, a Bradesco subsidiary, and involves the entire Banco Cidade share capital. Pinheiro Neto Advogados advised Bradesco while Tozzini, Freire, Teixeira e Silva Advogados acted for Banco Cidade.

Matte Group's tender offer for Bicecorp successful

22 March 2002

Following its purchase of the Rothschild Group’s stake in Bicecorp last December (see LATIN LAWYER, January 2002), the Chilean conglomerate Grupo Matte has launched and closed a mandatory tender offer for the acquisition of the remaining shares in Bicecorp, subject to Article 69 Ter of Law No. 18,046.

New board for BA bar

22 March 2002

Argentina’s largest bar association, the Colegio de Abogados de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, has elected a new board of directors.

Decentralisation incorporated in the Constitution

22 March 2002

On March 7, Law No. 27,680 was published, modifying the Peruvian Constitution with provisions on decentralisation, the regions and municipalities. The main substantive changes in the new law relate to the regulation of regional government structures and powers, which were not fully developed in the Constitution.