Chadbourne & Parke Represented Haitian Financial Institution on Pro Bono Basis;
Fonkoze Offering Closes With $1.95 Million in Capital After Three Years of Work
NEW YORK — Sept. 20, 2004 — The international law firm of Chadbourne & Parke LLP represented Fonkoze Financial Services in structuring an international offering to investors interested in promoting social and economic development in Haiti, including an offering by a domestic limited liability company to high net worth American investors.
The offering closed on September 13. Investors in the United States and Europe have made it possible for Fonkoze, Haiti’s largest microfinance institution, to expand its operations significantly with the influx of $1.95 million in foreign capital.
The money raised will be invested in a Haitian holding company that will, in turn, invest in a Haitian micro-credit-oriented financial services company. The Haitian financial services company will make loans to small groups of local women to finance small business activities such as street vending.
The capital, which is a mixture of long-term debt and equity, will enable Fonkoze Financial Services to reach over 100,000 clients with its package of financial services geared towards the poverty-stricken over the next three years. Individual and institutional investors included City National Bank of New Jersey, Sisters of Loretto, DOEN Foundation and Oikocredit.
Chadbourne teamed with U.S. and Haitian advisors to create a series of U.S. and Haitian entities that satisfied corporate, tax and regulatory requirements in both countries. The Firm also led the preparation of a private offering memorandum in connection with the sale of interests in the domestic LLC to U.S. investors and guided the LLC through the complex requirements for making a private offering of securities to U.S. investors.
Chadbourne attorneys working on the transaction included partners Peter Ingerman and Barry Dinaburg and associates Sheila Peluso, Erin Tandler, Josh Williams and Abigail Caplovitz, all of the New York office. Chadbourne represented the financial services company and the Fondasyon Kole Zepòl, which means “Shoulder to Shoulder Foundation” in Creole.
“Working on this project allowed Chadbourne a unique opportunity to help encourage free enterprise, to foster grassroots participation and to promote self-determination and economic development,” said Peter Ingerman, the supervising partner on the project and a member of the Firm’s Pro Bono Committee.
“This transaction personified the aspirations that drive our commitment to pro bono work wherever in the world we can make a difference,” said Chadbourne Pro Bono Partner Bernard W. McCarthy.
Chadbourne was referred the matter in March 2001 by the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest; Chadbourne partner Thomas Bezanson sits on that group’s board.
About Chadbourne & Parke LLP
Chadbourne & Parke LLP, an international law firm headquartered in New York City, provides a full range of legal services, including mergers and acquisitions, securities, project finance, corporate finance, energy, telecommunications, commercial and products liability litigation, securities litigation and regulatory enforcement, white collar defense, intellectual property, antitrust, domestic and international tax, reinsurance and insurance, environmental, real estate, bankruptcy and financial restructuring, employment law and ERISA, trusts and estates and government contract matters. The Firm has offices in New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Houston, Moscow, Kyiv, Warsaw (through a Polish partnership), Beijing and a multinational partnership, Chadbourne & Parke, in London. For additional information, visit www.chadbourne.com.