Thomas Vega-Byrnes has left Winston & Strawn and has set up his own solo practice, Thomas Vega-Byrnes LLC. He will continue to work in international power projects and will build upon established relationships with commercial, government and multilateral lenders, equipment suppliers and contractors.
Uruguay has made a SEC-registered US$250-million offering of 7 7/8 per cent notes due 2009, under the country's shelf registration statement. The transaction closed on March 25 and the notes were listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange on March 28.
In an attempt to resuscitate Uruguay’s largest but ailing private bank following a multimillion-dollar fraud scandal, shareholders JP Morgan Chase, Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) and Dresdner Bank Latin America have clubbed together with the government of Uruguay to pump a total of US$133 million into Banco Comercial.
On February 28, the Uruguayan Congress approved Law No.17,453 (‘the Act’), which is designed to address the existing fiscal deficit. Some of the changes introduced by the Act relevant to foreign business are summarised below:
The International Financial Corporation (IFC) has agreed to issue a $9 million subordinated loan to Uruguay's Banco de Montevideo for the acquisition of the formerly state-owned Banco La Caja Obrera.
In accordance with the law dated December 27 2001 (“the Act”), the Uruguayan congress has put an end to 70 years of State monopoly - exercised by the State-owned oil company, ANCAP - over the importation, refinery and exportation of crude oil, and over the exportation of oil-derived products (“the Monopoly”).
UTE, the State-owned electricity company, has called for a bid in order to identify a private investor for the construction of a new gas power station that will replace the State-owned fuel oil power station, the so-called Central Batlle. The deadline for presenting offers is January 22, 2002.
The Uruguayan Government has approved Decree No. 442/001 of November 13 establishing an interconnection regime governing international and cellular telephony operators.
The Irish software manufacturer Trintech has purchased the sole production, distribution and marketing rights to a software package developed by the Uruguayan company Sursoft. The software is used to ensure the safety of credit card transactions over the net. The deal, worth over US$5 million, is expected to close this month.
The Portuguese company Companhia Mineira de Talcos Ltd. (COMITAL), has entered into a joint venture agreement with Fábricas Nacionales de Papel (FANAPEL), an Uruguayan company, to set up industrial facilities for the production of chemical products for paper and painting companies. The plant opened for business on October 12.