Latham Advises Mexico's Vista Oil & Gas in First SPAC IPO in Latin America

Led by Miguel Galuccio and backed by Riverstone, Vista is also the first E&P IPO in Mexico.

August 15, 2017

Latham & Watkins LLP advised Vista Oil & Gas, S.A.B. de C.V. (Vista), a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) focused on oil and gas exploration and production (E&P), in its US$650 million global initial public offering (IPO). Vista is the first SPAC to conduct an IPO in Latin America and the first E&P-focused company to list in Mexico.

The offering, which was the third-largest IPO to list on the Mexican Stock Exchange during the last three years, involved the sale of 65 million Units split evenly between a public offering in Mexico and a concurrent international private offering in the United States and elsewhere outside Mexico. Vista intends to use the proceeds of the offering to acquire a target business in the Latin American energy sector, as part of its plan to build and operate a leading, publicly traded Latin American oil and gas company. Its initial focus will be on Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia.

Vista is led by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Miguel Galuccio, formerly the head of YPF, Argentina’s largest oil and gas company, and currently an independent director of Schlumberger, a leading global oil and gas services provider. An affiliate of Riverstone and the members of Vista’s management team act as Vista’s sponsor. Riverstone is one of the largest global energy-focused private equity firms.

The Vista offering brings the total amount of global equity capital markets transactions in which Latham has served as counsel since January 1, 2017 to more than 170 deals worth more than US$46 billion, more than any other law firm, and the total amount of global oil and gas capital markets transactions in which Latham has served as counsel over the same period to more than 60 deals worth more than US$26 billion. Latham also advised on the first energy IPO in Mexico, energy infrastructure venture IEnova’s US$598 million initial share sale in 2013, as well as on IEnova’s US$1.6 billion follow-on offering, the largest equity sale in Latin America in 2016.

Partners Roderick Branch and Michael Sullivan, both members of the firm’s Latin America Practice, led the Latham capital markets team that advised Vista in the offering, with partners Barton Clark on fund formation matters and Cheryl Coe on tax matters. Associates Amy Rigdon, Patrick Foley, Valentin Riazanov, Tessa White, Ben Winnett, Chasmin Brooks, and international visiting associate Francisco Lascurain rounded out the Latham capital markets, fund formation and tax teams.

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