Advent International acquired majority stake in Prisma Medios de Pago.
In Buenos Aires and in New York City, on February 1st, 2019, the acquisition of 51% of Prisma Medios de Pago S.A. shares by Advent International was closed. Prisma is the leading Argentine company in electronic payments, which in turn is a licensee of the VISA brand and owner of Banelco, Todo Pago, LaPos and Pago mis Cuentas. Beccar Varela and Covington & Burling LLP acted as transaction counsel for Prisma Medios de Pago and the sellers, while Baker McKenzie advised the buyers. The acquisition is subject to the approval of the National Competition Commission.
The seller-side* consists of VISA International and fourteen of the most important banks in Argentina. Sellers will keep the remaining 49% of Prisma stake. They appointed four banks to form a Committee: Banco Santander Rio S.A., Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires S.A.U., BBVA Banco Francés S.A. and Banco Macro S.A.; their in-house counsels led the legal aspects of the deal.
The sale price was approximately US$724 million; around 60% was paid at closing and the rest will be paid in five years. The transaction was completed within the framework of a divestiture agreement with the Argentine Competition Authority. It involved a sale of shares, a shareholder’s agreement and debt instruments and guarantees for part of the financed price.
This sale is a milestone, since it is the most important of Argentina in recent years, and it is anticipated that it will lead to the reopening of other strategic investments in the country. Roberto H. Crouzel, a partner at Beccar Varela, said the deal was “of unusual complexity, not only because of the need to reach agreement with a large number of involved parties, including foreign, national, and public and private sectors, but mostly because many of the parties are regulated by the Central Bank, the Securities Exchange Commission in Argentina and in this particular case, the Argentine Competition Authority”. María Shakespear, partner at the same law firm, underlined that “It was a great success that all parties were able to meet their goals in a timely manner; that would not have been possible without the commitment, contribution and mutual collaboration of the legal departments of Prisma and of each of the shareholders”.
Counsel for the transaction to Prisma Medios de Pago S.A. and to the sellers
Beccar Varela: partners Roberto H. Crouzel, María Shakespear, María Benson (M&A), Agustín Waisman (Competition), Pablo J. Torretta (Regulatory Banking), José M. Puccinelli (Corporate) and Santiago L. Montezanti (Tax), and associates Carolina Serra, Valeria Kemerer, Gustavo Papeschi, María de los Ángeles Olano, Ivana Grossi, Luciana Liefeldt, Tomás Peña, Juliana Sheridan and Belén Astelarra.
Covington & Burling LLP: Sergio Urias, Laura Torre, Laura Bleier, Andrew Heather, Ansgar Simon, Brian Rosenzweig, Sharon Freiman, Peter Schwartz, Brent Little, Christopher Yen, Jennifer Saperstein, Ashley Sprague, Santiago Zalazar, Nicole Duclos, Paris Aboro, Michael Nonaka, Kimberly Strosnider and Jenny Konko.
In-house counsel to the leading Committee
Banco Santander Río S.A.: Leónidas R. Castillo Carrillo, Celeste Ibañez e Ignacio Manuel García Deibe.
Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires S.A.U.: Gonzalo Braceras and Martín Berrotaran.
BBVA Banco Francés S.A.: Eduardo Gonzalez Correas and Rocío Carreras.
Banco Macro S.A.: María José Van Morlegan y Guillermo Patricio San Martín.
In-house counsel to other sellers and Prisma
Each of the sellers and Prisma have been continuously advised by its in-house counsels:
Banco de la Provincia de Buenos Aires: Marcelo Casanovas, María del Carmen Bertero, Gonzalo Perez, Graciela Curotto and María Claudia Larralde.
HSBC Bank Argentina S.A.: Martín Vázquez, Julián Borrelli, Enrique Basabe Picasso and Florencia Trevisi.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Argentina) S.A.: Hernán Cafoncelli and Ana Paula Verardo.
Banco Patagonia S.A.: Guillermo Pedro and Alejandro Pisani.
Nuevo Banco de Santa Fe S.A.: Pablo Bonetto.
Banco Itaú Argentina S.A.: Mariana Inés Sanchez.
Banco Comafi S.A.: Carmen Nosetti, Alberto Nogues and Juan Maximiliano Juarez.
Banco de la Nación Argentina: Carlos Aragón, Luis Nesci, Carlos Augusto Lo Turco, Iván Sasovsky and José Antonio Sanchez Sorondo.
Banco Credicoop Coop. Ltdo.: Carlos Cohen, Sergio Clur, Nelson Pereira and Luis Gil.
Sucursal de Citibank N.A. establecida en la República Argentina: Natalie Edwards, Alejandra Flah, Nicolás Pertiné and Carlos M. Vassallo.
Visa International Service Association: Carlos Vasquez, Senior Vice President – Chief Counsel LAC of Visa International.
Prisma Medios de Pago: Juan Cruz Alvarez and Eliana Tylkovitch.
Counsel to Advent International Corporation
Baker McKenzie (Buenos Aires): partners Vanina Caniza, Gabriel Gómez-Giglio, Gustavo Boruchowicz, Francisco Fernández-Rostello, Mercedes Masjuan, Esteban Rópolo and Geraldine Mirelman and associates Martín Roth, Felipe Graham, Cecilia Máspero, Guido Demarco, Candelaria Munilla, Marcos Sassot, Ayelén León and Ana Paula Gallardo.
Baker McKenzie (New York and Chicago): partners Alan Zoccolillo, Steven Canner, Garry Jaunal and Emeka Charles Chinwuba, and associate Jae Cho and Jason Kramer.
Counsel to HSBC Bank Argentina S.A.
Nicholson & Cano: partners María Fraguas and Macerlo Villegas.
Mayer Brown LLP (New York): partners Christian Fabian and Christopher Pochon.
Counsel to Banco de la Nación Argentina
Tanoira Cassagne: partners Rafael José Algorta, Bernardo Cassagne, Santiago Monti and associate Leopoldo García Mansilla.
Counsel to Visa International Service Association
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP (New York): partner Paola Lozano (M&A), counsel Hilel Pohulanik and associate José Vivanco (Corporate).
Bourel & Paris-Laplace: partner Alexis Kook Weskott.
* The sellers are, besides Visa International Service Association, Banco Santander Rio S.A., Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires S.A.U., BBVA Banco Francés S.A., Banco Macro S.A., Banco de la Provincia de Buenos Aires, HSBC Bank Argentina S.A., Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Argentina) S.A., Banco Patagonia S.A., Nuevo Banco de Santa Fe S.A., Banco Itaú Argentina S.A., Banco Comafi S.A., Banco de la Nación Argentina, Banco Credicoop Coop. Ltdo., and Sucursal de Citibank N.A. establecida en la República Argentina.