Sponsored Briefing: M&A in Portugal during Covid-19

Sponsored Briefing: M&A in Portugal during Covid-19

The effects of the pandemic on Portuguese businesses are not uniform.

We can find sectors that have shown some resilience and a capacity to explore the opportunities that have materialised despite everything. Operations that were started before the pandemic are being concluded, such as the purchase of PRISA’s share in the media group Media Capital by Portuguese investors or the purchase of the fuel distributor PRIO by the Spanish distributor DISA. Continue reading “Sponsored Briefing: M&A in Portugal during Covid-19”

Sponsored Briefing: Technology at the Forefront – Digital Solutions in the BVI

Sponsored Briefing: Technology at the Forefront – Digital Solutions in the BVI

When considering key trends and developments in the legal sector in 2020, it is impossible to ignore the global Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on working practices around the world. The BVI has risen to these challenges thanks to its modern and flexible legal framework and proactive adoption of innovative new technology including virtual hearings and meetings, online filing systems, and electronic execution of documents.When considering key trends and developments in the legal sector in 2020, it is impossible to ignore the global Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on working practices around the world. The BVI has risen to these challenges thanks to its modern and flexible legal framework and proactive adoption of innovative new technology including virtual hearings and meetings, online filing systems, and electronic execution of documents.

Continue reading “Sponsored Briefing: Technology at the Forefront – Digital Solutions in the BVI”

Sponsored Briefing: New Spanish remuneration framework for renewable

Sponsored Briefing: New Spanish remuneration framework for renewable

Renewable has been the star sector in the Spanish energy market during the last years. The country weather conditions, the existence of a relevant experienced industry, the availability of financing, the support of the public administration and the recent policies have resulted in a very successful cocktail, permitting a significant development of renewable technologies making Spain a global leader in this field.

Specifically, early this year, the Government announced a new set of legislation to promote and update the Spanish renewable legal framework. Apart from other provisions, recently, a new provision has been passed to regulate a new economic regime based on competitive auctions under the principle ‘paid-as-bid’. Additionally, before ending 2020, a new rule on access and connection to the grid is expected to be approved and, early 2021, a law on energy transition. Continue reading “Sponsored Briefing: New Spanish remuneration framework for renewable”

Sponsored briefing: The calculation of individual dismissals under Directive 98/59/EC

Sponsored briefing: The calculation of individual dismissals under Directive 98/59/EC

In these turbulent times we are experiencing in the workplace, with a constantly changing legislative framework, the Spanish legal landscape was recently altered by the judgment handed down on 11 January 2020 by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), on collective redundancies (case C-300/19).

Whereas, just before the summer, news was appearing in the Spanish general press and specialised media of local court rulings rendering null and void terminations of employment contracts, where they were based on loss of business linked to Covid-19, now, this judgment handed down by the CJEU in Luxembourg has opened a new possibility for rendering null and void individual dismissals, linked to a tightening of the criteria used to calculate collective redundancy thresholds, under Directive 98/59/EC on the approximation of the laws of the member states relating to collective redundancies. Continue reading “Sponsored briefing: The calculation of individual dismissals under Directive 98/59/EC”

Sponsored Briefing: Keep it simple

Sponsored Briefing: Keep it simple

Many of us were caught in the making of transactions when the Covid-19 outbreak started or, at least, hit Europe causing a complete shutdown in many countries or started them while confined at home experiencing the sudden and unexpected demise of the economy.

While assessing the business impacts of the pandemic in ongoing transactions and those initiated while navigating new unchartered waters, lawyers, vendors and purchasers started pondering the legal impacts of this ‘new normal’ on transactions agreements and how risk-sharing provisions would operate in this context and its aftermath. Following the 2008 financial crisis, lawyers submerged on discussions on how provisions in their legal systems would operate, namely on supervening change of circumstances affecting contracts, and if the lessons then learned, carved in jurisprudence and scholars’ extensive essays, would apply to transactions generated prior or in the midst of the pandemic. The same amount of time and consideration was dedicated to the discussion on how effective (more or less) standardised risk-sharing provisions would operate in transactions preceding this Covid-19 crisis but not yet completed and how such provisions should play out in acquisitions signed and concluded while we still are besieged by the virus. Provisions on representations and warranties, interim management periods, material adverse change, force majeure, hardship and others were (are) again revisited. Continue reading “Sponsored Briefing: Keep it simple”

Sponsored practice area spotlight: Insolvency and restructuring: Combining unique skills to achieve a successful outcome

Sponsored practice area spotlight: Insolvency and restructuring: Combining unique skills to achieve a successful outcome

Insolvency and restructuring proceedings are intricate and complex. Practitioners must be able to combine legal knowledge, in particular in the areas of litigation, finance and transactions, with strategic, tactical and managerial skills to deliver positive results.

Prager Dreifuss has extensive experience and a longstanding tradition in insolvency and restructuring matters. In the wake of the financial crisis, we combined our finance and bankruptcy knowledge which enabled us to assist in complex project financing, also lately in a major multinational commodity project. Our attorneys regularly represent creditors, some of which are banks, hedge funds or other financial institutions, in large national and international insolvency and restructuring proceedings, whether in registering or purchasing claims or in enforcing disputed claims vis-à-vis bankruptcy administrators and before courts. Assisting clients in the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in Switzerland and abroad is a key feature of our daily practice. Frequently and increasingly, we are retained by creditors in enforcing claims (awards, bonds) against sovereigns. Continue reading “Sponsored practice area spotlight: Insolvency and restructuring: Combining unique skills to achieve a successful outcome”

Sponsored briefing: The pandemic and Portuguese capital markets

Sponsored briefing: The pandemic and Portuguese capital markets

In 2019, our article in Legal Business ended as follows: ‘Therefore, with the benefits of a renewed legal and regulatory framework and of an environment where low interest rates facilitate access to funding, 2020 is likely to follow in line with the current year, promising continued intense activity and diversity’. In January 2020, VdA organised an international conference on sustainable finance, where we discussed the growing relevance of ESG factors with key players.

However, unpredictably, by March 2020 it was clear that our prediction of ‘continued intense activity and diversity’ was beginning to make little or no sense, as the Covid-19 pandemic reached Portugal (and the world). By the end of March, an unprecedented legal moratoria regime was enacted and subsequently extended until the end of September 2021. Very dark clouds were on the horizon for those looking for funding or refinancing, and on top of the legal moratoria regime, force majeure and material adverse change clauses became hot topics of discussion. Continue reading “Sponsored briefing: The pandemic and Portuguese capital markets”

Sponsored practice area spotlight: M&A: Legal experts who will take you from deal structuring to execution

Sponsored practice area spotlight: M&A: Legal experts who will take you from  deal structuring to execution

M&A situations call for experienced practitioners with a solid background and in-depth knowledge of the market as well as a strong focus on the client’s needs.

Prager Dreifuss is one of the leading Swiss law firms for transaction-related work. Our longstanding expertise in related fields such as banking and finance, competition law, capital market law and regulation, tax law, restructuring and insolvency, contract, employment and intellectual property law as well as corporate law allows us to find effective, innovative and holistic solutions for all types of M&A deals. Continue reading “Sponsored practice area spotlight: M&A: Legal experts who will take you from deal structuring to execution”

Sponsored briefing: Portuguese Market Update – Sustainable Financing

Sponsored briefing: Portuguese Market Update – Sustainable Financing

The Paris Climate Agreement, signed in Paris on 12 December 2015, strengthened the call to action among the financial community by setting a new long-term goal on finance: ‘making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development’. Portugal ratified the Paris Agreement in 2016 and has since taken the first steps towards what will hopefully be a robust and appealing green financing market, which has recently shown a more consistent path.

The development of Portugal’s green financing market has been mainly led by banks and big listed companies with sustainability strategies, seeking to obtain or allocate funding while pushing forward with the decarbonisation of the Portuguese economy.

In the corporate sector, EDP – Energias de Portugal has prepared its MTN Debt Programme for the issuance of green bonds, the proceeds of which are being directed to financing or refinancing portfolios of wind and solar energy generation facilities, thus overcoming the first-mover fear that was holding back the Portuguese market.

Earlier this year, mortgage lender Unión de Créditos Inmobiliários, Establecimiento Financiero de Crédito – Sucursal em Portugal entered the universe of European green securitisations by privately placing its inaugural RMBS Green Belém No. 1, a deal having Tagus STC (a Portuguese securitisation vehicle) as issuer and backed by Portuguese residential mortgages originated by UCI Portugal. This was the first ‘green’ RMBS securitisation in the Iberian Peninsula, with UCI Portugal committing to use the proceeds from this deal to fund earmarked green building initiatives and sustainable finance projects in Portugal and Spain. This was also the first securitisation to be labelled ‘STS’ (simple, transparent and standardised) under the Securitisation Regulation in Portugal and the first to be successfully completed within the difficult context of the Covid-19 pandemic, just as states of emergency were being declared in various countries around the world, including Portugal.

Following clear and documented policies for climate action and environmental sustainability, as well as a renewed ambition to establish a trend for investments in this domain, the European Investment Bank subscribed part of the senior class of the issuance. This marked the return of supranational institutions to the Portuguese RMBS market, which will hopefully send a clear message to other potential investors as to the robustness and health of this market.

Sustainalytics, an independent global provider of ESG and corporate governance research and ratings, played a crucial role in both issuances by confirming that each was in compliance with the Green Bonds Principles, a set of voluntary process guidelines established by the International Capital Market Association recommending transparency and disclosures and promoting integrity in the development of the Green Bond market.

Euronext Lisbon – the Portuguese stock exchange and member of the Euronext platform – also launched in 2020 a new suite of ESG-focused products, services and initiatives, designed to provide a robust framework of tools for European capital markets to fuel sustainable growth. Euronext Green Bonds offerings (which included the RMBS Green Belém No.1) saw a 70% increase in the number of issuers since launch and led to Euronext expanding its offering to other ESG-related bonds, including blue, social, sustainability and sustainability-linked bonds.

More recently, a reflection group on sustainable financing was created, being composed of the main players in the Portuguese financial sector and coordinated by the Ministry of Environment and Energy Transition, in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economy. This group launched two important documents ‘Guidelines for Accelerating Sustainable Financing in Portugal’ and ‘Letter of Commitment for Sustainable Financing in Portugal’, which establish guidelines and commitments with respect to sustainable financing, such as the commitment to developing a fiscal policy in favour of sustainability and the signatories’ commitment to promoting training in sustainable financing aimed at their employees at different levels of the organisation (including board level).

September 2020 saw the incorporation of a national green development bank. Banco Português de Fomento springs from the will to streamline the action of financial institutions in support of the economy, by maximising the efficiency of their action and promoting their strategic co-ordination while simultaneously aiming to provide financial capacity and accelerate the various existing sources of financing dedicated to investing in sustainable, carbon neutral and circular economy projects.

2020 has seen the Portuguese financial sector embracing ESG and is on the path to increasing the supply of financial products that promote decarbonisation, while also bringing awareness to sustainability policies and projects among Portuguese SMEs

 

For more information, please contact:

Benedita Aires
Partner, Banking & Finance
bla@vda.pt

 

Sebastião Nogueira
Senior Associate, Banking & Finance
san@vda.pt

 

VdA
T: (+351) 213 113 400
Rua Dom Luís I, 28
1200 151 – Lisboa

www.vda.pt

Sponsored briefing: Taking a holistic view of a US law partner’s income to secure property

Sponsored briefing: Taking a holistic view of a US law partner’s income to secure property

How does Investec assess foreign currency income and assets when examining affordability?

This is a question we get asked frequently, because not all lenders have the ability to look at complex income streams such as foreign currency or lumpy profit distributions. We understand that if you’re a partner at a law firm, your income structure will vary and may comprise elements including monthly draw, profit distributions and a bonus element, some or all of which may be in a foreign currency. You may also have income generating assets such as overseas property. Continue reading “Sponsored briefing: Taking a holistic view of a US law partner’s income to secure property”