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

  • Advising the banks providing the refinancing of a thermoelectric plant operated by Grupo Ethuss Co.
  • Advising a major commercial bank in Colombia in the financing of a solar energy project developed by Canadian Solar
  • Acted as legal advisor under Colombian law for 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 New York law and Colombian law for Banco Santander S.A., Banco Davivienda S.A. and Itaú Corpbanca Colombia S.A. as senior lenders in connection with the financing of the transmission power line located in the Atlántico department of Colombia, part of the Colombian Regional Transmission System to be developed by the Spanish sponsor Ortiz Construcciones y Projectos S.A. through the SPV Energia de Colombia STR S.A.S. E.S.P.
  • Acted as legal advisor under Colombian law for Bancolombia S.A. in connection with the refinancing of the debt of five small hydroelectric plants operated by the LAREIF Group; the refinancing was comprised of a new credit facility of CO$275 trillion and the restructuring of a lease agreement for CO$75 trillion; Grupo LAREIF currently operates eight power generation plants, all of which are run-of-river hydroelectric plants located in the Department of Antioquia; the plants have been incorporated to Colombia's National Interconnected System (SIN) since July 2007; five plants obtained debt refinancing from Bancolombia S.A., namely: Caruquia (Santa Rosa de Osos), Guanaquitas (Gómez Plata), Barroso (Salgar), Popal (Cocorná) and CH San Miguel (Cocorná)
  • Acted as legal advisor under Colombian law for MUFG Bank Ltd. (MUFG) – Japan's largest bank – 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 on the transaction; the transaction represents the first project financing of a transmission line in Colombia involving foreign banks
  • Advised Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN) S.A., the Colombian Infrastructure Development Bank 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 Trina Solar – a Chinese manufacturer – will provide more than the 67 million photovoltaic (PV) modules required and will generate 27.2 megawatts (MW)
  • Advised Banco 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 Group/Araucaria Energy, an energy sponsor operating in Argentina, as issuer in connection with its US$500 million Rule 144A/Regulation S project bond offering; the deal, one of the first greenfield power generation project bonds issued out of Argentina in more than 25 years, was underwritten by Jefferies and Seaport Global; in addition to the project bond itself, the transaction also 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) as well as an additional equity advised by energy developer SoEnergy International Inc.

  • Advising the bank financing the first toll road Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) project granted by a departamento in Colombia to be developed under the fourth-generation infrastructure plan (4G) form contract
  • Advised a private equity fund managed by Unión por la Infraestructura (UPI) as provider of a credit enhancement instrument, part of the refinancing structure of Pasto-Rumichaca Project
  • 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 4G road infrastructure program in Colombia; the financing included two tranches, with the FDN providing CO$500 billion 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 Construcciones El Condor S.A., the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the project; 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 two tranches of secured debt: a more than CO$681 billion tranche 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: 1) a CO$600 billion tranche, 2) a 1.302 million Unit of Real Value (UVR) tranche, 3) a US$260.4 million bond under Rule 144A/RegS, 4) a nearly CO$397 billion bond under Rule 144A/RegS and 5) a CO$217.5 billion liquidity line (credit enhancement)
  • 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 four tranches of secured debt: 1) a CO$835 billion tranche, 2) a US$150.8 million bond under Rule 144A/RegS, 3) a CO$327 billion bond under Rule 144A/RegS and 4) a CO$217.5 billion liquidity line (credit enhancement)
  • 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 included three tranches of secured debt: 1) a CO$686 billion tranche, 2) a US$136 million tranche and 3) a CO$115 billion liquidity line (credit enhancement)
  • 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 three tranches of secured debt: 1) a CO$870 billion tranche, 2) a US$145.6 million tranche and 3) a CO$45 billion liquidity line (credit enhancement)
  • 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 financing included three tranches of secured debt: 1) a CO$520 billion tranche, 2) a US$80 billion tranche and 3) a CO$250 million liquidity line (credit enhancement)
  • 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 three tranches of secured debt: 1) a more than CO$1 trillion tranche, 2) a CO$585 billion UVR tranche and 3) a CO$105 billion liquidity line (credit enhancement)
  • 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)

  • Advised Itaú Corpbanca Colombia S.A. in the acquisition finance granted to a Brazilian private equity fund to acquire a food industry company in Colombia
  • Advised Tecnoglass in the refinancing of its existing debt granted by PNC Bank (succesor of BBVA USA) in a deal worth approximately US$350 million
  • Advised Bancolombia S.A. in the granting of a CO$292 trillion bridge loan to Construcciones El Condor S.A. to refinance existing debt, among others
  • Currently advising a leading bank in the Colombian market on refinancing the debt of five small hydroelectric plants in the department of Antioquia
  • Advised Bancolombia S.A. and a group of 4 Colombian commercial banks in a CO$148 trillion syndicated secured loan granted to Redcol Holding S.A.S., 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; the deal was awarded the 2021 "Deal of the Year" by Bonds and Loans LatinAmerica
  • 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, 2022
  • 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