DEAL: first Latin American SPAC IPO

Author: Amélie Labbé | Published: 30 Aug 2017

Mexico has hosted the first initial public offering (IPO) of a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), launching a new asset class in Latin America.

Vista Oil & Gas also became the first company in the sector to be publicly traded in Mexico, four years after the country ended state-backed Petroleos Mexicanos’ monopoly and allowed private companies to operate in the energy production and exploration market.

The transaction presented a few regulatory and structuring obstacles due to its status as a first-of-its-kind in Mexico.

"Mexico never really had a sponsor that was truly committed to pushing through the IPO of a SPAC"

"Since there was no precedent in Latin America for the transaction, all of the structuring and documentation had to be newly created," said Roderick Branch, partner at Latham & Watkins, which acted as US counsel to Vista. "Everything was very bespoke."

More flexible IPO rules

Riverstone, Vista’s private...