Morales & Besa has bolstered its team with the addition of a new M&A lawyer.
Alvaro Barriga joins the firm, as partner, after serving as general counsel at Corp Group. Barriga also has expertise in project finance.
"We are delighted to welcome a lawyer of Alvaro´s excellent standing to our firm," said managing partner Eugenio Besa. "He brings extensive corporate M&A experience, which will be of great help to our expanding practice, particularly as we are seeing a high demand for M&A transactions.”
Barriga’s hire comes at an interesting time for M&A in Chile. Recently, Chile introduced a new merger control regime. This will substitute the old voluntary pre-notification system with a new mandatory pre-notification system. Many hope that these new regulations will bring clarity to what often was a confusing process.
“I understand and agree with the need of regulation on this matter, but the outcome of what has been discussed in Congress needs to be serious. If it's strict and tougher we can live with it, so far as it is objective and smooth. Our clients need certainty,” remarked Barriga.
Before coming to Morales & Besa, Barriga has worked on several significant mergers and acquisitions. These include the acquisition of Hotel Hyatt Santiago Four Seasons Buenos Aires and Uruguay in 2006, the acquisition of Banco Santander Colombia and Banco Helm Colombia in 2012 and 2013, and the merger of Corpbanca with Itaú Chile in 2014.
“I had the responsibility of leading the Corp Group team during the negotiations with Itaú,” Barriga reflected. “It was extremely challenging, besides being a transaction worth billions of dollars, it was actually quite challenging to structure a transaction with a Brazilian investor, over a Chilean and, indirectly, a Colombian bank, without triggering a tender offer and to enter into a heavily negotiated shareholders agreement, in which the control of the bank is assured to the Brazilian investors.”