Cleary and Shearman lead on $7bn Petrobras bond deal

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Shearman & Sterling have both scooped roles advising on Brazilian oil giant Petrobras’s up to $7bn bond issue.

The deal, which saw Petrobras and Petrobras International Finance Company (Pifco) sell $1.25bn of three-year notes and $1.75bn of five-year bonds on Wednesday, marks the biggest fixed income offering by a Brazilian company so far in 2012, according to the Financial Times. The deal is expected to close over the next few days.

Cleary worked alongside Walkers in the Cayman Islands as counsel to Petrobras and Pifco. New York-based partner Francesca Odell led the team at Cleary, which included senior attorney Carla Passos, associate Carolina Barbeiro and international lawyer Indira Kurokawa. Partner Nicola Pineda led the team for Walkers, alongside senior associate Nicholas Pattman and associate Shamar Ennis.

Shearman and Brazilian law firm Mattos Filho Veiga Filho Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados are acting as counsel to the underwriters, with Banco Votorantim Nassau Branch and Mitsubishi UFJ Securities acting as lead managers and BB Securities, Citigroup Global Markets, Itau BBA USA Securities, JP Morgan Securities, Morgan Stanley and Santander Investment Securities all acting as joint bookrunners.

New York-based Shearman partner Stuart Fleischmann led the team alongside São Paulo-based partner Mathias von Bernuth and associates Fernanda Iacia and Ivana Martins. Fleischmann has been responsible for advising Petrobras’s underwriters and lenders since 2001.

The Mattos Filho team was led by capital markets partner Renato Schermann Ximenes de Melo and oil and gas partner Giovani Loss, with the assistance of associates Gustavo Machado Gonzalez and William Bandeira Cortes.

The four firms have strong track records of working on Petrobras deals, having all worked together on the oil giant’s $6bn international bond issuance in January 2011 and its historic 70bn (£44.6bn) record-breaking share offering in 2010 (18 October 2010).

In spite of the regulatory restrictions affecting the Brazilian legal market, a large number of foreign firms have set up shop in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro over the past decade. Shearman opened an office in Brazil in 2004 and Cleary set up shop there in 2011 (29 November 2010).