Mario Piana Yanez

International Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright US MX, S.C.

Mario Piana Yanez

Mario Piana Yanez

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Biography

Mario Piana represents Mexican and international clients in domestic and international transactions, private equity, venture capital, cross-border financing, project finance, and mergers and acquisitions. For over 20 years, Mario has represented and advised foreign investors entering into the Mexican market, conducting due diligence reviews of target companies and businesses, and the restructuring/acquisition documents and/or joint ventures among Mexican and foreign companies.

His practice includes advising Mexican and international companies in a wide array of industries such as private equity, infrastructure, energy, renewable energy, telecommunications, real estate, and leisure and hospitality, among others. His practice includes legal advice in commercial law, civil law, labor law, financial law, international commerce and general corporate matters. He also represents clients before all Mexican governmental and regulatory agencies, including public and private national and/or international bids.


Professional experience

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Postgraduate studies in Obligations and Contracts, Escuela Libre de Derecho
AC, Licenciado en Derecho, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México

  • Mexico
  • Represented SinoHydro Costa Rica (PowerChina) to develop a 240 MW hydroelectric generating facility for the Mexican state-owned utility CFE. 
  • Represented Yes Bank Limited in the structuring and negotiation of a US$18,000,000 financing facility to an Indian tyre manufacturer, secured by its Mexican assets, including tyre manufacturing facilities.
  • Represented Grupo Dragón, a Mexican renewable power developer and operator, in the US$94.6 million sale of all of its ownership interests in two wind farm projects located in the States of Jalisco and Chiapas, Mexico. Grupo Dragón remained as operator and construction contractor under O&M and EPC agreements executed as part of the transaction.
  • General advice to PowerChina in legal matters concerning EPC contracts and risks associated with construction and development of infrastructure projects in Mexico.
  • General advice to PowerChina in corporate matters and joint venture agreements related to construction, development and operation of infrastructure projects in Mexico. 
  • Advised PowerChina in connection with the development and construction of a 270 MW hydroelectric power project in Mexico for the Mexican Federal Electricity Commission.
  • Represented EXI CKD, a publicly traded private equity fund, in an MXN750 million convertible loan to COVIMSA, a subsidiary of Empresas ICA—the largest infrastructure and construction company in Mexico—for the acquisition of a minority stake in the greenfield toll road project "Palmillas–Apaseo El Grande."
  • Represented ENGIE (GDF Suez) in the acquisition of its first renewable energy project in Mexico, located in the state of Sonora, with a capacity of 15 MW.
  • Represented Hanwha Q-CELLS in the acquisition of its first renewable energy project (solar photovoltaic) in Mexico, located in the state of Guanajuato, with a capacity of 33 MW.
  • Represented and advised a Mexican nationwide retail chain in refinancing a US$45.5 million loan and an extension of the loan for an additional MXN400 million granted by a Swiss banking institution.
  • Represented ENGIE in the termination of a long-term lease agreement and sale of a cogeneration plant in Altamira, Tamaulipas, to Mexichem.
  • Represented and advised a Danish energy technologies company in the negotiation of turnkey agreements for the installation and start-up of waste-to-energy plants, as well as for automotive rubber parts recycling plants. Negotiated joint ventures with Mexican parties to develop such businesses.
  • Represented and advised a Mexican nationwide retail chain in the corporate restructure of its holding company and subsidiaries, aimed at improving efficiencies in administrative and tax-related costs.
  • Represented and advised the Mexican subsidiary of a  leading Swedish investment company in the incorporation and start-up of its Mexican operations in the field of microlending and payroll deduction loans.
  • Represented and advised a leading Mexican cable TV operator in due diligence and negotiations to acquire a large cable TV competitor in Mexico. Represented the same group in due diligence and negotiations to acquire a large data center in Mexico.
  • Represented and advised a Mexican nationwide retail chain in the negotiation of a debt restructure and extension of financing facilities granted by a US private equity fund and a German bank to recover from financial distress.
  • Provides ongoing representation and advice for the management of continuing obligations under the loan agreements.
  • Represented a US luxury hotel chain in the acquisition of beachfront real estate to develop leisure resorts and mixed projects, as well as in the process of acquiring additional properties from adjoining ejido communities. Continuing representation in the fulfillment of obligations derived from diverse agreements executed with the ejidos for the privatization and sale of such land.
  • Advised a Danish wind energy producer in several regulatory and transactional matters in connection with two wind farm projects in the states of Oaxaca and Tamaulipas, Mexico.
  • Represented and advised a Mexican energy firm in diverse transactions with customers and suppliers related to the development of energy cogeneration and self-supply projects.
  • Represented and advised one of Mexico's leading industrial groups in the acquisition of a local and long-distance carrier and implementation of a telecommunications business plan aimed at providing local services to high-end residential properties.
  • Represented Mexico's leading mobile telephone carrier in several interconnection disputes against local and long-distance carriers, resolved by the Mexican Federal Telecommunications Commission. General advice in telecom regulatory matters.
  • Advised Mexico's leading mobile telephone carrier in bidding processes before the Ministry of Communications and Transportation and the Federal Telecommunications Commission, for the acquisition of radio-spectrum frequencies to render PCS and broadband services.
  • Represented and advised the leading Argentinian satellite operator in a joint venture with a Mexican investment group to render satellite communications services in Mexico, US and the Caribbean.
  • Represented a US-based financial entity in the negotiation of several loan agreements with a Mexican real estate developer for the construction of major commercial developments and office buildings and provided representation and advice in contract management for the construction of such real estate developments.
  • Represented a US-based private equity fund in the acquisition of two hotel resorts in Ixtapa and Huatulco and represented the same company in the sale of those resorts to a major Spanish tourism corporation.
  • Represented and advised an international real estate developer in the acquisition of several properties throughout Mexico, development and construction of industrial parks, and construction and refurbishment of residential and office buildings.
  • Best Lawyers International - Project Finance and Development, Best Lawyers, 2013 - 2019
  • Best Lawyers International - Real Estate Law, Best Lawyers, 2014 - 2019
  • Guide to the World’s Leading Technology, Media & Telecommunications Lawyers, Expert Guides, Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, 2005
  • Recommended Lawyer, International Firms, The Legal 500 Latin America - Banking and Finance, The Legal 500, 2017
  • Mexican Bar Association, Barra Mexicana, Colegio de Abogados, A.C.
  • National Association of Corporate Counsel, Asociación Nacional de Abogados de Empresa, Colegio de Abogados, A.C.
  • American Bar Association
  • English
  • Spanish