Gonzalo Vargas is a transactional attorney with over 26 years of experience providing legal and business advice and counseling to multinational and Mexican companies. He co-heads González Calvillo´s Energy and Real Estate/Hospitality Practice Groups. His work includes active representation of diverse clients involved in a wide variety of projects, including multi-million dollar transactions and investments in the areas of joint ventures, franchising, government procurement, real estate and ADR. Being recognized as a business oriented practitioner, Mr. Vargas is an active member to Boards of Directors of several joint venture companies.


Practice Focus
His practice focuses also on M&A, sophisticated corporate structures as well as issues/disputes between shareholders, hospitality industry, energy industry, cross-border investments, complex agreements, corporate finance, antitrust regulation, private equity/venture capital transactions, public bids and regulatory issues in general, as well as arbitration. He has been steadily ranked as a foremost practitioner in his fields of expertise by Chambers & Partners, Who’s Who and Latin Lawyer.


Representative Legal Matters
• Representation and counseling to Corporacion Soros in the strategy to raise private capital for the development of hospitals, and subsequently in the acquisition by Alta Growth Capital Mexico Fund, L.P. of 49% of the capital stock of the group holding company named Holding Amerimed, S.A.P.I. de C.V., which owns and operates several hospitals and clinics in some of the most important resort destinations in Mexico; general counseling and legal advice to the group of hospitals on daily basis.

• Continued general representation InterContinental Hotel Group (“IHG”) in all their legal dealings and negotiations in Mexico for over 20 years, which includes, among others, the structuring and yearly review of all their license and franchise agreements; the negotiation and structuring of a joint venture with Grupo Situr to jointly develop and operate 30 Holiday Inn Express hotels throughout Mexico, as well counseling during the development or construction stage; the acquisition of a minority equity stake in Bear to start development of the Reforma 1 Crowne Plaza Hotel in Mexico City, representation and negotiations with the controlling shareholders of Bear so as to raise IHG’s ownership, representation in a dispute with such shareholders, develop a strategy to take control the company and become the leader counsel in the ultimate sale of all of the capital stock of Bear to the Spanish hotel operator Sol Melia.

• Representation of Thales Raytheon Company (“TRC”) in the sale of 5 radars initially for the Mexican Navy in order to establish of a surveillance system for Mexican National Defense; develop a strategy to continue such negotiations with Pemex to avoid budgetary constraints by the Navy, conduct negotiations with Pemex in Mexico and ultimately cause that the award be made by a U.S. Pemex affiliate in order to accommodate TRC’s requirements and concerns.

• Representation of FONATUR (the Mexican governmental tourism trust) in the sale of the resort golf courses in Los Cabos and Ensenada, respectively, and counseling for the restructuring of a trust agreement to manage and control the construction of the real estate/hotel/marina development known as Puerto Cancun; continued counseling in respect to various sensitive matters for FONATUR.

• Representation of BBVA Bancomer in the structuring and implementation of a conditional sale of its corporate headquarters, the leasing thereof pending the acquisition of two AAA properties in strategic locations in Mexico City, to house the new headquarters of BBVA Bancomer in Mexico; the transactions was successfully implemented and is considered as one of the largest real estate transactions in Mexico with a value close to a billion dollars. Continued representation of BBVA Bancomer during the construction stage.

• Representation of G. Accion in the successful acquisition of a portfolio of approximately 319,000 square meters owned by U.S. based Hines consisting of (i) the Torre del Angel, a 33,000 square meter “AAA” office building located in the heart of Paseo de la Reforma, in Mexico City, (ii) approximately 181,000 square meters of industrial park land and facilities located in the State of Querétaro, and (iii) an industrial park in Guadalajara with approximately 105,000 square meters. The representation included interaction and reporting to G. Accion’s partners including the Peabody Group, JP Morgan Chase, O’Connor Group and AMB Property Corporation. 

• Representation of CTF Central Corporation regarding the defense against a strategy by Hoteles Presidente in Mexico to terminate their management agreements of all the Presidente hotels in Mexico, and to deviate all revenue to companies different from Turnal, a holding company of all the Presidente hotels where CTF owned an 18.5% equity participation. Implementation of several legal actions against the Presidente group, and its shareholders, and lead arbitration efforts so as to ultimately reach a settlement agreement.

• Representation of The International Group of ClubCorp in all their Mexican development deals including the negotiations for the proposed acquisition of 5 golf courses and 2 hotels in Mexico from Grupo Situr; the privatization of a major “ejido” in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, and its subsequent development which included the sale of real estate areas for the construction and development of several condominium towers and hotel parcels, and also continued advice for the development of two 18-hole signature golf courses at the site; the acquisition, construction, development and operation of the golf course in Cozumel, Quintana Roo; the operation and management of a golf course in Cancún, Quintana Roo, as well as a hotel and golf course in Los Cabos.

• Representation of Weatherford International in the acquisition of a group of companies providing services to Pemex under the name “Meyer”, carry out the due diligence of important Pemex contracts and representation before the Federal Antitrust Commission for such purposes given the value of the transaction in an amount close to USD $400 million.  Subsequent representation of Weatherford in the corporate restructuring of its Mexican subsidiaries.

• Continued representation of Pemex  in various sensitive matters, including arbitrations, the participation in the legal team that advised Pemex and the Ministry of Energy in the drafting of new regulations that derived from the 2008 reforms to the Mexican oil industry legal framework.  Ultimately, the representation of Pemex Petroquimica (“PPQ”) in a joint venture with Mexichem Derivados, for the integration of the production links salt-chlorines-ethylene/ethane-VCM, and the strategy of the contribution of the assets corresponding of the plants owned by each PPQ and Mexichem.  The legal representation included the drafting of a Shareholders Agreement protecting PPQ as a minority shareholder, the representation before Antitrust Commission which was obtained without any conditions, and the drafting of all necessary contracts for the continued operation of the plants and the coordination for obtaining all operational licenses and permits preventing the stoppage of the plants due to the creation of a new entity.


Admission
Mexico (1985)


Education and Experience
Mr. Vargas obtained a J.D. degree with Honors from the Universidad Anahuac in 1985. He made also Tax Graduate Studies at the Universidad Panamericana in 1986, and also on International Commercial Arbitration at the Escuela Libre de Derecho in 1996; in 2000 he was certified as a Mediator by the U.S.-Mexico Conflict Resolution Center.


Memberships/Selected Boards
• Member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (“ISHC”), an organization integrated by over 200 members who are only admitted upon invitation. The ISHC is widely recognized as one of the world’s more reliable sources for expertise and counseling in the hospitality industry.

• Board member of Minerales Expandidos, S.A. de C.V.

• Board member of Holding Amerimed, S.A.P.I. de C.V.

• Board member of ATL Interamericana, S. de R.L. de C.V.

• Board member of Startup Factory, SAPI. de C.V.

Other
Mr. Vargas has been a lecturer in international and domestic forums on subjects related to his legal practice; he has written articles for legal reviews in Mexico and the U.S. (i.e. Getting The Deal Through and the International Law Office)