DEAL: first Latin American SPAC IPO

Author: | Published: 21 Sep 2017

Starting from scratch First Latin American IPO of a blank cheque company

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.

"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 rulesRiverstone, Vista's private equity sponsor, aimed to partially replicate similar transactions...