Veirano Advogados and Souza, Cescon Avedissian, Barrieu e Flesch Advogados have secured the financing for an Anglo American-MMX joint venture to build a major port in Rio de Janeiro state.
 
Veirano advised LLX Minas-Rio in obtaining a 1.3 billion reais (US$561 million) credit facility over 12 years from three local banks - BNDES, Unibanco and Itaú - which together retained Souza, Cescon.
 
Claudio Lampert , general counsel for LLX's parent company EBX, praised the law firms on both sides for their commitment. "Both teams did a superb job in this deal," he says. "It was a very complex combination of different business interests. In the middle of the deal, Unibanco and Itaú merged, the whole planet collapsed, money became scarce and another sizeable layer of difficulties was added. It took us a year and a half to wrap it up."
 
When the deal was planned, Lampert was a partner at Veirano. He moved to be general counsel at the holding company for billionaire Eike Batista's group of commodities companies in June.
 
Luis Antonio de Souza of Souza, Cescon praised the dedication of BNDES's in-house counsel and also noted the contribution of US firm Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in helping the deal close despite the global crisis. "We had intended to allow the project access to international markets," he says. "But with the credit crisis, international sources of finance were limited. In the end, we used local players but kept the operating framework designed by Sullivan & Cromwell."
 
The deal, which closed on 16 January, will finance development of the Açu port, which will receive iron ore from Anglo American's mines in the state of Minas Gerais. LLX Minas-Rio is a joint venture between Anglo American and LLX Logistica, a subsidiary of mining company MMX that was set up last year.
 
Anglo American announced in December that it was delaying development of the mining part of the Minas-Rio project by six to 12 months. According to Robson Barreto, lead partner on the Veirano team, this did not affect the negotiations. "We were able to show that the plans for the Açu port remained unchanged."
 
Counsel to the banks
 
In-house counsel - Livia Barros and Izabela Goulart Algranti (BNDES); Andre  Carvalho Whyte Gailey and Andréa Mendonça de Freitas (Unibanco); Raphael Palmieri Salomão and Simone Frossard Ikeda (Itaú)
 
Souza, Cescon Avedissian, Barrieu e Flesch Advogados
Partners Luis Antonio Semeghini de Souza and Karin Yamauti Hatanaka
 
Counsel to Anglo American and LLX Logistica
 
In-house counsel - Bernard Pryor (Anglo American); Claudio Lampert (LLX Logistica)
 
Brazil
 
Veirano Advogados
Partner Robson Barreto and associates Sergio Bronstein and Ana Carolina Barreto
 
Machado, Meyer, Sendacz e Opice Advogados (Anglo American only)
Partner José Ribeiro do Prado Júnior and senior associate Liliam Yokishawa
 
US and UK
 
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
Partner Christopher Mann and associate Roberta Pimentel
 
SP
 
(LATINLAWYER 30.01.2009)
 
(Notícia na íntegra)