Lara M. Rios
Lara M. Rios is a financial transactions attorney in Holland & Knight's New York and Miami offices. Financial institutions, corporate borrowers, private equity sponsors and project developers rely on Ms. Rios' extensive experience to represent them in connection with structuring complex finance and capital markets transactions, both domestic and cross border, with a particular focus on the energy/infrastructure industry and Latin America. Many of the transactions she has worked on have been designated "Deals of the Year" in their respective categories.
Energy sector clients commend Ms. Rios on her experience and skills, saying:
She is super organized, knows the electrical sector very well and is really helpful.
– Chambers USA – America's Leading Lawyers for Business guide, 2021
Ms. Rios understands clients. Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Ms. Rios was deputy general counsel at a growing, privately owned international power generation company with traditional and renewable energy projects representing 3,700 megawatts (MW) across 17 countries. She was responsible for overseeing corporate and project-level transactions and supporting all phases of development, acquisition, construction, operations, and project and corporate financings. Ms. Rios led the in-house team in connection with the company's first corporate bond issuance in the international capital markets and first green bond issuance by a Latin American issuer, the proceeds of which helped to finance the construction of a 114 MW wind farm in Peru as part of the country's renewable energy program. The financing was recognized by IJGlobal as Latin American Wind Deal of the Year 2015 and by Environmental Finance as Environmental Bond of the Year 2015.
Ms. Rios' extensive experience also includes having previously practiced with two international law firms in New York, where she represented clients on a wide variety of syndicated lending, acquisition finance, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), equity and debt securities, and corporate advisory matters.
During law school, Ms. Rios interned in the chambers of the Honorable Sonia Sotomayor of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Passionate about helping others, Ms. Rios maintains an active pro bono practice having represented small business owners, civil rights and not-for-profit organizations and U.S. veterans.
- Advised Fibra UNO, Mexico's first and largest real estate investment trust (REIT), in connection with its acquisition financing of the "Titan Portfolio" of 74 industrial properties (1.2 million square meters in gross leasable area) and a land reserve (approximately 1 million square meters) in Mexico from real estate developer Finsa
- Advised Fibra UNO, Mexico's first and largest REIT, in connection with a $1 billion dual tranche (U.S. dollars and Mexican pesos), five-year sustainable revolving credit agreement; the unsecured revolving credit facility incorporates a sustainability-linked pricing grid that reduces the borrowing spread if certain benchmarks are achieved each year; the syndicated facility complies with the Loan Syndications and Trading Association's (LSTA) Sustainability Linked Loan Principles and is the first of its kind for a Mexican borrower such as Fibra UNO; named Financing Innovation of the Year at LatinFinance's 2019 Deal of the Year Awards
- Represented Bancolombia Panama, Banco Agricola and Banco Davivienda Salvadoreño in $190 million acquisition financing for Aeroman, which allowed a Central American transportation support services provider to expand its operations in the United States
- Represented MUFG Bank Ltd. as lead arranger in connection with a $175 million syndicated loan facility to Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior S.A. (Bladex)
- Represented JPMorgan Chase and a group of 14 lenders on a $200 million syndicated senior unsecured loan to Promigas S.A. of Colombia and its Peruvian subsidiary, Gases del Pacífico S.A.C.
- Represented private equity sponsor in connection with the $57 million acquisition financing of medical practices in the state of Florida
- Represented private equity sponsor in connection with the acquisition financing of a provider of safety and training services (e.g., audit, consulting, inspection, training, etc.)
- Represented Converge Technology Partners in connection with the acquisition financing of numerous targets in the information technology sector
- Represented lead arranger and administrative agent in connection with the acquisition financing of healthcare technology company
- Represented acquiror/borrower in its $475 million senior secured credit facility to finance the acquisition of a technology concern
- Represented lead arranger and administrative agent in connection with the financing of the spin-off of a leading cereal company from its public parent company
- Represented Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior S.A. (Bladex) as sole lead arranger, bookrunner and administrative agent on a $120 million, three-year senior unsecured syndicated loan to GMG Holding S.A. and its subsidiaries (Grupo Monge)
- Represented Sociedad Agricola Saturno, an agricultural company focused on sustainable agriculture, in connection with its secured financing provided by MetLife
- Represented SunTrust Bank in connection with financing to GM+P Consulting and Glazing Contractors Inc., which was guaranteed by Tecnoglass Inc., a Cayman company with operations in Colombia
- Represented Premium Restaurant Brands, a master franchisee of quick-service restaurants in Mexico and Latin America, in connection with its secured dual currency secured financing arranged by Goldman Sachs
- Represented Stoneway Capital Corporation, as issuer in connection with its $500 million Rule 144A/Reg. S project bond offering, the first greenfield power generation project bond issued out of Argentina in more than 25 years; the transaction also included a related $115 million secured loan from Siemens Financial Services to finance equity in the structure, as well as an additional equity investment by energy developer SoEnergy International; the transaction was distinguished as 2017 Project Finance International Latin America Deal of the Year
- Represented New York Green Bank in support of a $31.25 million loan to Rock Wind Holdings LLC to recapitalize a portfolio of wind farms owned by a private equity fund, including a 55.35 megawatt (MW) project in New York; the project supports the long-term financing of a large scale renewable project in the state
- Advised City National Bank, Florida's third-largest bank, as lender in connection with a $15 million financing of solar photovoltaic (PV) plants in Puerto Rico owned by Sonnedix, a global independent power producer; the two operational solar PV plants have a combined capacity of 73 MW
- Represented a lender in connection with the financing of the dredging of a large-scale commercial port in Central America
- Represented the borrower and sponsor in connection with the project financing for a 100 MW renewable wind project in Argentina under the RenovAr program
- Advised Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional S.A. (FDN) in Colombia in connection with a $590 million financing to Concesionaria Ruta del Cacao to develop the Bucaramanga–Barrancabermeja–Yondó corridor
- Advised Banco Santander Chile in connection with the value added tax credit facility provided in connection with the financing of the design, construction and operation of five new backup power generation plants in Chile by Prime Energía Quickstart SpA, a subsidiary of Glenfarne Group LLC
- Represented Peruvian wind farm project in connection with obtaining bridge financing from Corporación Financiera de Desarrollo S.A. (COFIDE), the development bank in Peru and refinancing through a $204 million Rule 144A/Reg. S project bond, the first green bond issuance in Latin America/Peru; the transaction was recognized by IJGlobal as 2015 Latin American Wind Deal of the Year and by Environmental Finance as 2015 Environmental Bond of the Year
- Advised consortium of five liberal arts colleges in the Northeast in its purchase of renewable energy certificates and environmental attributes produced by a 75 MW solar electric energy generating project in Farmington, Maine
- Counseled numerous energy companies in connection with cross-border project financings and investments (including sovereign guarantees) by multilateral financial institutions
- Advised Fibra UNO in its international offering of $1 billion in senior notes; the offering was divided into two tranches: $400 million at a rate of 4.869 percent maturing in 2030 and $600 million at a rate of 6.39 percent maturing in 2050; both were issued in accordance with Rule 144A/Reg. S under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933; this was the first 30-year tenor bond issued by a Mexican issuer
- Represented the underwriters in connection with a $1.5 billion debt offering by a sovereign issuer
- Represented the underwriters in connection with the initial public offering of a leading global hotel brand
- Represented the underwriters in connection with a $300 million Rule 144A/Reg. S debt offering for a Chilean oil and gas concern
- The University of Chicago Law School, J.D.
- Yale University, B.A., Political Science
- New York
- Supreme Court of the State of New York, Second Judicial Department
- U.S. Supreme Court
- Hispanic National Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- New York Civil Liberties Union, Board of Directors and Treasurer, 2007-2015
- Chambers USA – America's Leading Business Lawyers guide, Energy & Natural Resources, 2021
- Best Finance Lawyer in Latin America, Euromoney Legal Media Group Americas Women in Business Law, 2020
- Law360 Rising Stars, Project Finance, 2020
- On the Rise Honoree, Daily Business Review Professional Excellence Award, 2020
- Holland & Knight Rising Star, Class of 2020
- Most Effective Lawyer, International Transactions, Daily Business Review, 2019
- Hispanic National Bar Association, Top Lawyers Under 40, 2019
- IFLR1000, The Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms, Notable Practitioner, Banking, 2019, 2020; Notable Practitioner, Financial Services, 2021
- Her Justice Commitment to Justice Award, 2009