New York, NY – April 13, 2005 – LAWFUEL – The international law firm of Chadbourne & Parke LLP announced today the formation of its U.S. Hispanic Practice Group, an expansion of its Corporate, Private Equity and Latin America Practices.
The group, headed by partners Talbert I. Navia and Alejandro San Miguel, will provide legal representation to U.S. companies deriving substantial revenues from the Hispanic market and/or U.S. companies which are controlled by Hispanics. With the dynamic growth of these companies and of the Hispanic population throughout the United States, Chadbourne is well positioned to meet the needs of this client base.
The launch of the practice coincided with the first conference examining investment opportunities in the U.S. Hispanic market. The April 12 conference, held at Chadbourne’s New York offices, was co-sponsored by Chadbourne, investment bank Samuel A. Ramirez & Co., Zemi Communications and AMLA Consulting.
“I can’t imagine a better time for investors and entrepreneurs to look at the U.S. Hispanic market,” Mr. Navia told an audience of 140 people at the conference. Other speakers included SEC Commissioner Roel Campos and Guy Garcia, author of “The New Mainstream.”
Chadbourne’s practice is aimed at serving a rapidly growing area: the number of companies that serve the U.S. Hispanic market has grown four-fold, which now exceeds the average growth rate of other companies. Moreover, Hispanic-owned businesses are expected to increase at a robust rate of 7.6% annually through at least 2010. The number of Hispanic-owned businesses in the U.S. is expected to grow 55% in the next six years to 3.2 million, with total revenues surging 70% to more than $465 billion, according to recent estimates by HispanTelligence.
“The formation of our U.S. Hispanic Practice Group, demonstrates to our clients that we recognize the growing importance to them of the U.S. Hispanic market and our commitment to serve their needs with highly skilled attorneys led by two partners who are fluent in Spanish, culturally aware, and who also can draw on the strengths from our interdisciplinary network of practice groups,” said Charles K. O’Neill, Chadbourne’s managing partner. “In addition, Talbert, formerly a founding partner of a middle market private equity firm, brings a unique perspective to clients in this market, as well as entrepreneurs, investors and operators of portfolio companies.”
“Our familiarity with this high growth market from a company and investor perspective gives us a unique ability to provide the companies, investors and individuals we represent with exceptional legal services as they expand into this market,” he added.
Mr. San Miguel stated that with such growth, Latin American-based companies have accelerated their expansion into the U.S. to tap the Hispanic market, and Chadbourne’s knowledge of those companies and familiarity in this region gives Chadbourne an added advantage in representing them in U.S. transactions.
Chadbourne has been one of the major international law firms active in Latin America, and has seen several of its clients penetrate the U.S. Hispanic market. The Firm has represented clients in many of the highest profile transactions in the region, in such areas as mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, project finance, banking and restructurings, and will continue to do so when those clients move into the U.S. Hispanic market and other arenas.
According to Goldman Sachs Research, U.S. businesses across all industries have begun to focus on the rapidly growing Hispanic market, and it is expected that this trend will continue. “We especially will see businesses that serve the U.S. Hispanic market increasingly target private equity as a source for capital, and Chadbourne has experience in handling such transactions,” Mr. Navia said.
Chadbourne’s recent experience in the U.S. Hispanic market has included working with Core Value Partners, LLC, a Miami-based private equity group, in representing one of its companies, Hispanic-owned Heartland Food Corp. The Firm assisted in the acquisition of more than 200 Burger King® restaurants mainly located in heavily Hispanic areas, which makes it the largest fast-food franchise in this market. These include:
127 Burger King® restaurants in the Chicago, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin markets and the subsequent add-on acquisition of an additional 38 Burger King restaurants in the North Carolina market from AmeriKing, which filed for bankruptcy in December 2002; and
39 additional Burger King restaurants in a deal where they were purchased from three separate franchisees.
The Firm also has represented Core Value Partners in the formation of CV Tel Corp. to acquire from bankruptcy the assets of Orion Telecommunications Corp., a prepaid calling card company with 97% of its revenues being derived from the U.S. Hispanic market.
On the investment side, the Firm is currently representing several new private equity and other financial funds being formed to reach different aspects of the U.S. Hispanic market and possible cross-border synergies with Latin America.
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.