Blackstone gambles on Cirsa purchase

Seven firms have confirmed their role in Blackstone’s acquisition of Spanish-based gaming corporation Cirsa from the company’s founder in a cross-border deal that involved multiple Latin American jurisdictions.

Uría Menéndez in London led the transaction advising US-based investment company Blackstone. The other firms that advised the purchaser were Bennani Associés in Morocco; Batalla in San José; Mijares, Angoitia, Cortés y Fuentes SC in Mexico City; Headrick Rizik Alvarez & Fernández in Santo Domingo; Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría (Colombia); and Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría (Peru). Bonelli Erede in Italy and Tapia, Linares y Alfaro in Panama are also thought to have advised Blackstone, but this could not be confirmed prior to publication.

Garrigues in Spain, Bogotá, Lima and Mexico City advised the private shareholders of Cirsa. Its founder Manuel Lao Hérnandez is thought to have relied on in-house counsel for the deal, which was signed on 27 April. He is listed by Forbes magazine as Spain’s ninth-richest person. The deal’s value is confidential.

Blackstone acquired all of Cirsa’s operations in Spain, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Panama and Peru. Manuel Lao Hérnandez will continue to own Cirsa’s remaining operations in Argentina.

Reports last month raised a question mark over whether the sale of Cirsa would go ahead, after Blackstone and global management group Apollo were the only bidders. It was reported that Cirsa was hoping for more bidders.

Founded in 1978, Cirsa operates gaming arcades, bingo halls, casinos and lottery terminals.

Counsel to The Blackstone Group

Uría Menéndez

Partners Juan Carlos Machuca and Blanca Arlabán in London

Bennani Associés

Partner Mehdi Bennani and associates Khawla Rochd and Amel Ferchichi in Casablanca


Partner Mariano Batalla and associates Sergio Amador, Marco Ureña, José Luis Campos, Esteban de la Cruz and Paula Zamora in San José

Headrick Rizik Alvarez & Fernández

Partner Mary Fernández and associates Fernando Marranzini, Gabriella Villanueva, Luis Arias, Romina Figoli and Naomi Rodríguez in Santo Domingo

Mijares, Angoitia, Cortés y Fuentes SC

Partner Ricardo Maldonado Yañez and associates Rodrigo Del Valle, Francisco Glennie, Fernando Guerrero, Jose Ernesto De La Peña, Adriana Morales, Paula Pérez in Mexico City

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría (Colombia)

Partner Javier Valle and associates Daniel Bermúdez, Camilo Suárez, Laura Arango, Diana Zuleta, Mariana Torres, Carolina Correal, Vivian Villamizar, Martín Ruiz, María Margarita Lorduy, María Camila Aponte, Lina Méndez, Miguel Tovar, Juan Miguel Luna, María Clara Cabrera, María Alejandra Buitrago and Santiago Fernández in Bogotá

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría (Peru)

Partners Antonio Guarniz, Dante Sanguinetti and Jorge Reategui, and associates Rossmery Romero, Paulo Isla, Laisha Mubarak, Diego Cabrera, Carlos Gonzales Prada, Lidia Vilchez, Annie Collazos and Gina Chavarry in Lima

Counsel to private shareholders of Cirsa


President Fernando Vives and partner Salvador Espinosa de los Monteros Garde in Madrid; partners Alex Pujol Pamies, Claudio Doria, Francisco Lavandera, Manel Bueno Gavín, Míriam Barrera Ubieto and Mónica Sevilla, and associate Laura Artau Botifoll in Barcelona; and associates María Luque Vega and Antonio Ciprés in Zaragoza

Garrigues (Colombia)

Partner Camilo Zamara Martínez, counsel Camilo Gantiva and associates Eduardo Carlos Sanmiguel and Laura Galeano in Bogotá

Garrigues (Peru)

Partner Álvaro Valle de Alvear, counsel Víctor Baca and associates Luis Valle, Miluska Gutiérrez and Franco Muschi in Lima

Garrigues (Mexico)

Partners Luis Gerardo Lemus Burguete and Roberto Torres Velasco, and associate Miguel Angel Rocha in Mexico City


Latin Lawyer