Maria Juliana Saa

Partner
Maria Juliana Saa

Overview

Maria Juliana Saa Hoyos is an attorney in Holland & Knight's Bogotá office. Ms. Saa Hoyos focuses her practice on the areas of corporate services, financial law, capital markets, bank investment and commercial law.

Ms. Saa Hoyos is involved in important project finance and structured finance transactions in Colombia and focuses primarily in energy and infrastructure areas. She has extensive experience in drafting, negotiating and reviewing financing agreements as well as project documents to develop and finance infrastructure and energy projects in Latin America.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Ms. Saa Hoyos practiced as an associate in a law firm in Colombia and as a legal director for a brokerage firm.

Representative Experience

  • Advised a leading independent Latin American oil and gas explorer, operator and consolidator with operations and growth platforms in Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Ecuador as to Colombian law matters in the issuance of US$150 million of 5.5 percent senior notes, due 2027, and issued under Rule 144A/Regulation S; three securities firms acted as initial purchasers of the issuance
  • Currently advising senior lenders under Colombian Law in connection with the financing of a transmission power line in the Atlántico department of Colombia, part of the Colombian Regional Transmission System
  • Currently advising an investment bank and the international investor in the refinancing of the existing debt of two transmission power lines in Colombia, developed by Grupo Ethuss, to be structured as a private placement under New York law
  • Acted as legal advisor under Colombian law for MUFG Bank, Ltd. (MUFG) on its US$163.5 million financing for the La Virginia - Nueva Esperanza transmission line project, which will cross the departments of Risaralda, Cundinamarca, Tolima, Quindío and Valle del Cauca in Colombia and benefit more than 2 million homes; MUFG acted as coordinating lead arranger, administrative agent, offshore collateral agent and hedge provider; the transaction represents the first project financing of a transmission line in Colombia involving foreign banks
  • Advised Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN) and Banco Davivienda S.A. on the Bosques de los Llanos 1 solar energy project, which was one of the first non-conventional renewable energy projects to achieve financial closing in Colombia through project finance scheme; the project is being developed in the region of Puerto Gaitán, Meta, in which a Chinese manufacturer will provide more than the 67 million photovoltaic (PV) modules required and will generate 27.2 megawatts (MW)
  • Advised Davivienda S.A. in connection with New York aspects of the project financing for the power transmission line operated by Elecnorte S.A.
  • Advised Stoneway Capital Corp./Araucaria Energy, an energy sponsor operating in Argentina as issuer in connection with its US$500 million bond under Rule 144A/Regulation S; the deal was one of the first greenfield power generation project bonds issued out of Argentina in more than 25 years and included a related US$115 million loan transaction from the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor from Siemens Finance to finance equity in the structure (Siemens is the builder of the four financed projects) and an equity injection from the shareholders

  • Advised Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and the China Development Bank as lead arrangers in the financing of the Mar 2 project, part of the fourth-generation infrastructure plan (4G) in Colombia; the financing included two tranches, with the FDN providing CO$500,000 million and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and the China Development Bank providing US$501.7 million
  • Advised Infrared Capital Partners Limited, a global investment manager focused on infrastructure and real estate, in the purchase and sale agreement to ensure a 50 percent stake in the Ruta Al Mar concession, a 34-year concession for the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of a highway in Colombia; the remaining 50 percent of capital is held by El Condor, the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor; the project is a 491-kilometer (km) road that is being developed as a 4G Private Initiative Project within the 4G Program of the government of Colombia; representation included the negotiation and draft of the agreement to purchase shares and auxiliary documents; the financing includes a tranche of secured debt worth CO$681 billion and a second tranche worth US$522 billion under Rule 114A/Regulation S
  • Advised under Colombian law and under New York law to FDN as a provider of liquidity facilities (credit enhancement) in the framework of the financing of the Pacific 3 project, part of the 4G road infrastructure program in Colombia; the project was the first 4G financing that was closed, the first transaction with liquidity line granted by FDN and one of the first international project bond issues in Colombia; LatinFinance named the transaction "Best Road Financing" and "Best Infrastructure Financing" for the Andes region in 2016 and recognized Holland & Knight for its work; the financing includes five tranches of secured debt
  • Advised under Colombian law and under New York law to FDN as a provider of liquidity facilities (credit enhancement) in the framework of the financing of project Costera Cartagena-Barranquilla, part of the 4G road infrastructure program in Colombia; the financing included five tranches of debt totaling US$1.45 billion, including two series of international project bonds
  • Advised under Colombian law and under New York law the FDN as a provider of liquidity facilities (credit enhancement) in the framework of the financing of the Alto Magdalena project, part of the 4G road infrastructure program in Colombia; the financing includes three tranches of secured debt
  • Advised under Colombian law and under New York law to FDN as a provider of liquidity facilities (credit enhancement) in the framework of the financing of Perimetral Oriental de Bogotá project, a perimeter road corridor in eastern Cundinamarca, part of the 4G road infrastructure program in Colombia; the financing included a principal amount of US$156 million, a senior credit facility of CO$870 billion and a subordinated liquidity facility of CO$45 billion
  • Advised under Colombian law and under New York law FDN as a provider of liquidity facilities (credit enhancement) as part of the financing of the Conexión Norte project, part of the 4G road infrastructure program in Colombia; the project concessionaire received financing in two tranches, including a US$250 million credit facility, CO$520 billion in the second tranche and an additional liquidity facility of CO$80 billion
  • Advised under Colombian law and under New York law FDN as a provider of liquidity facilities (credit enhancement) as part of financing the Ruta del Cacao project, part of the 4G road infrastructure program in Colombia; the financing includes four tranches of secured debt
  • Advised under Colombian law FDN as a provider of liquidity facilities (credit enhancement) in the framework of the financing of the Transversal del Sisga project, part of the program of 4G road infrastructure of Colombia; the financing includes two tranches of secured debt: a CO$393.2 billion tranche and a CO$50 billion liquidity line (credit enhancement)

  • Currently advising a leading bank in the Colombian market on refinancing the debt of five small hydroelectric plants in the department of Antioquia
  • Currently advising five Colombian commercial banks that will grant a long-term credit facility to a reputable company in the education sector in Colombia to, among others, grow inorganically through the acquisition of new schools
  • Advised Tecnoglass under Colombian law in the financing granted by BBVA USA for approximately US$300 million to, among others, refinance its existing debt
  • Advised JPMorgan Chase and a group of 14 lenders in a US$200 million unsecured syndicated loan granted to Promigas S.A. and Gases del Pacífico S.A.C.

Credentials

Education
  • Universidad de los Andes, Specialization, Financial Legislation
  • Universidad de los Andes, Specialization, International Business Law
  • Universidad de los Andes, J.D.
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Colombia
Honors & Awards
  • The Legal 500 Latin America, Rising Star, Banking and Finance, 2021
  • The Legal 500 Latin America, Banking and Finance, 2019
  • Best Road Financing, Project & Infrastructure Awards, LatinFinance, 2016, 2017
  • Best Local Currency Finance, Project & Infrastructure Awards, LatinFinance, 2017
  • Best Infrastructure Financing for the Andes Region, Project & Infrastructure Awards, LatinFinance, 2016
  • Deal of the Year, Project Finance, Latin Lawyer, 2016
Spoken Languages
  • English
  • Spanish

Publications

Speaking Engagements

News