Phoenix Tower refinancing calls on LatAm counsel

Locke Lord LLP in Boston and New York and Latin American firms have helped US telecoms group Phoenix Tower International restructure several loans held by its Latin American and US subsidiaries and package them into one single US$2 billion facility, including an acquisition financing it recently obtained to buy Chilean tower assets.

Phoenix Tower also enlisted Barros Silva Varela & Vigil in Santiago, Colombian firm Posse Herrera Ruiz, Ecuador’s Bustamante Fabara, Greenberg Traurig SC in Mexico City, Panamanian outfit Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee and Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría (Peru).

Scotiabank acted as the sole lead arranger and bookrunner for the deal, fronting a syndicate of banks that restructured the loan agreements. The bank relied on Moreno Baldivieso Estudio de Abogados in La Paz, Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría (Chile), Ecuadorean outfit Pérez Bustamante & Ponce (PBP), the San Salvador and Guatemala City offices of BLP and Panamanian firm Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega.

US firm White & Case LLP is also thought to have advised Scotiabank, along with Colombia’s Brigard Urrutia and Zürcher Odio & Raven in San José. Latin Lawyer could not confirm these firms’ counsel before publishing.

The transaction closed on 10 August.

The borrower re-arranged several loans through the deal, placing loans borrowed by Phoenix Tower’s US, Spanish and Chilean subsidiaries into the same debt structure. The full portfolio now includes a US$1.4 billion credit line, a US$540 million delayed draw term loan and a US$56 million revolving credit facility. All of the debt is due in August 2027.

The US$1.4 billion credit line relates to funds it borrowed to finance the purchase of over 3,800 telecoms towers from Chilean counterpart WOM in a July deal. The transaction made Phoenix Tower the most prominent tower operator in Chile.

Phoenix Tower operates in multiple Latin American countries, including Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Its global operations are present in some 19 countries worldwide, managing a total of 22,000 telecoms towers.

Counsel to Phoenix Tower International

Locke Lord LLP

Partner Jason Ulezalka in New York, and partner Christine McCay, of counsel James Rubens and associates Brandon Curtin and Mason Marek in Boston

Barros Silva Varela & Vigil

Posse Herrera Ruiz

Partner Jesús Albarrán and associate Catalina Posada in Bogotá

Bustamante Fabara

Partner José Rafael Bustamante and director Kirina González in Quito

Greenberg Traurig SC

Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría (Peru)

Partner Rafael Puiggros and associate Luciana Carpio-Rivero in Lima

Counsel to Scotiabank

In-house counsel – Joanna Weinstein

Moreno Baldivieso Estudio de Abogados

Partners Andrés Moreno and Teddy Mercado and associate Mirko Olmos in La Paz

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría (Chile)

Partner Marcelo Armas and associates Daniel Parodi, Pedro Pablo Valenzuela, Nicole Bercovich and Juan Ignacio Rosales in Santiago

Pérez Bustamante & Ponce (PBP)

Partner Bruno Pineda and associates Juan Francisco Simone and Romina Dávalos in Quito

BLP (El Salvador)

Associates Luis Vega and Fernando Farrar in San Salvador

BLP (Guatemala)

Partner María Inés Arenales and associate Carolina Saadeh in Guatemala City

Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega

Partner Ricardo Arango, associate Ana Quijano and international associate Cedric Kinschots in Panama City

This article has been updated to include additional counsel. The most recent update was made on 23 February 2023 to include additional counsel to Phoenix Tower.


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