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Covington Advises Grupo Financiero Banorte in $1.6 Billion Acquisition

November 28, 2012

NEW YORK, November 28, 2012Covington & Burling is advising Grupo Financiero Banorte S.A.B. de C.V., and its affiliate Afore XXI Banorte, S.A. de C.V., in a $1.6-billion acquisition of Afore Bancomer, S.A. de C.V. from the Spanish bank, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A., which would create Mexico’s largest pension fund.

Afore Bancomer is Mexico’s second largest pension fund, and Afore XXI is the fourth largest. Afore XXI, owned equally by Grupo Financiero Banorte and the Mexican Social Security Institute, would be acquiring Afore Bancomer. The transaction, which is expected to close during the first quarter of 2013, is subject to Mexican regulatory and antitrust approvals.

The Covington team is led by Rubén Kraiem and Gabriel Mesa, with the assistance of Cecile Zwiebach. Robert Heller is advising on tax matters, Michael Francese and Katherine Mineka on employment benefits matters, Lee Tiedrich and Jessica Milner on intellectual property matters, and James O’Connell on antitrust matters. Peter Schwartz and Courtney Heizenrader also assisted.

“A team of lawyers based in Mexico and the United States worked closely together to shape the deal and meet the tight timeframe of the auction process,” Mr. Kraiem said.

The Mexico City offices of Jones Day and Haynes & Boone are advising the purchasers on Mexican law matters.

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