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Natalia Ponce de Leon

Natalia Ponce de León

Associate
Baker & McKenzie S.A.S.

Biography

Natalia Ponce de León is senior associate of the M&A and Private Equity Practice with over 11 years of experience, focusing on advising foreign clients and private equity funds on acquisitions of assets in Colombia. She joined Baker McKenzie’s M&A practice in 2014 after completing an LL.M. in New York University and has been recognized as “Rising Star” by Legal 500. Other areas of practice include commercial and corporate law.

She was admitted to the New Yok Bar in 2017.

Practice Focus

Natalia has notable experience in M&A, private equity and corporate law. Her practice involves foreign and local clients in numerous industries, with an emphasis on cross-border transactions. She has been especially involved in the infrastructure and energy industry, advising some of the largest and most relevant companies in Colombia. She has also broad experience advising private equity funds, preparing and negotiating fund rules and advising on regulatory matters. Her experience in M&A includes drafting and negotiation of agreements and corporate documents, analysis of transactional structures, coordination and supervision of local and multi-jurisdictional due diligence teams. She assists in all phases of acquisition, merger or sale processes of companies.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Advised Ecopetrol (the most important oil Company in Colombia) in the purchase of 51,4% shares of Interconexión Eléctrica ISA (the largest electric energy supplier on Colombia and with presence in several Latin American countries) through the signing an inter-administrative share purchase agreement with the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit in Colombia. This was the largest transaction in Colombia for 2021 for an amount of COP 14,236,814,025,000 (approx. USD 3.6 billion). The acquisition was nominated to the Latin Lawyer's M&A Deal of the Year Award (2021).
  • Advised Akzo Nobel on the acquisition of 100% of Grupo Orbis S.A., a publicly listed company in the Colombian Stock Exchange, mainly dedicated to the chemicals industry (paintings & coatings and complementary chemical businesses), with a relevant presence in several countries in Latin America (2022).
  • Advised Isagen (one of the largest energy generators in Colombia) on the acquisition of 7 hydroelectric powerplants in Antioquia through a series of asset purchase agreements (2021).
  • Advised Colombian Infrastructure Equity Fund (an infrastructure private equity fund) in the acquisition of 3 power plants located in Colombia (2021).
  • Advised EPM (state-owned company that supplies around 30% of the Colombian energy demand) in the auction and acquisition of an interest in Electricaribe (an energy commercialization and distribution company) to operate its local distribution and regional transmission systems, as well as its commercialization activities across the Caribbean region in Colombia. The counterpart was under intervention by public authorities and the process was similar to a privatization deal. This was one of the most relevant transactions in Colombia in 2020.
  • Advised Brookfield Colombia Infrastructure Fund and BCIF Holdings Colombia II S.A.S. in the transaction with Northland Power Inc., whereby Northland agreed to purchase 99.2% Empresa de Energía de Boyacá S.A E.S.P, for approximately USD 800 million (2019). The process was structured as an auction process with international investors. Awarded as “Deal of the Month” in LATAM by TTR (January, 2020) and awarded as “Deal of the Quarter” in LATAM by TTR (1Q, 2020).
  • Advised Grupo Romero in the acquisition of a minority stake in Oleoducto Central S.A. – Ocensa (which is the main Colombian pipeline operator). The amount of the transaction is confidential but exceeded USD 800 million (2019 and 2021).
  • Advised Daimler AG in the sale of its passenger cars and commercial vans business in Colombia to Inchcape (2019 and 2021).
  • Participated in the auction process for Exxon-Mobil service stations in Colombia during 2018, representing our client Petroleos Delta (2018).
  • Participated in the team that advised Advent International Corporation in its acquisition of a majority equity stake in Chilean gaming and resort company Enjoy for 1.12 billion pesos (USD 170 million) (2018).
  • Participated in the team that advised Unilever in its acquisition from Quala of its (i) shampoo, conditioner and styling business, (ii) fabric softener business and (iii) oral care business in Latin America (2017).
  • Participated in the transaction by means of which Unilever sold its beverage soy business in Latin America to Coca-Cola Femsa (2016).
  • Advised Public Sector Pension Investment Board - PSP Investments (one of Canada's largest pension investment managers) in the acquisition of 30% of Amarilo S.A.S., one of Colombia's biggest construction companies (2016).
  • Participated in the team that advised Advent International Corporation in the acquisition of 30% shareholding interest in Lifemiles B.V., the entity that owns and manages one of the most important and recognized airline loyalty programs of Latin America. The acquisition was nominated to the Latin Lawyer's M&A Deal of the Year Award (2015).

Professional Honors

  • Rising Star, Corporate and M&A, Legal 500, 2021

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • New York Bar Association

Admissions

  • New York~United States (2017)
  • Colombia (2010)

Education

  • New York University (LLM) (2014)
  • New York University School of Business (Advanced Professional Certificate in Law and Business, Awarded the John L. Vogelstein Scholarship, a merit-based scholarship) (2014)
  • Universidad de los Andes, Colombia (Specialization in Tax) (2012)
  • Universidad de los Andes, Colombia (JD) (2010)
  • Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Law Exchange Program) (2008)

Languages

  • English
  • Spanish