Mr. Navato is a Partner of the Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (“ACCRALAW”). Mr. Navato joined ACCRALAW in 1997 and is a member of ACCRALAW’s Corporate and Special Projects Department. He specializes in investments, energy law, mergers and acquisitions, leases privatization, and banking and finance. He has advised clients in establishing branch offices, representative offices, and subsidiaries in the Philippines as well as registering foreign clients’ investments with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. He has also assisted numerous foreign clients register with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (“PEZA”) to avail of certain economic incentives offered by the PEZA. He has helped various US clients establish their call center facilities in the Philippines by establishing their Philippine subsidiaries, registering them with the PEZA, and negotiating their contracts of lease for the site of such facilities.
Previously, he has assisted the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (“RCBC”), a universal bank in the Philippines, in connection with their acquisition of two additional local banks as well as with its capital raising efforts which resulted in investments by the International Finance Corporation in the amount of US$49 Million and CVC Capital Partners in the amount of US$115 Million. In 2015, he assisted the bank with its latest round of capital raising efforts which resulted in the 20% equity investment by Taiwan’s Cathay Life Insurance Corp. in RCBC. The deal resulted in Php7.95 Billion worth of CET1 capital for the bank. Mr. Navato also represented RCBC and the Yuchengco Group of Companies in connection with the sale of 49% of its shareholdings in Grepalife Financial, Inc. to Sun Life Financial Philippine Holding Company, Inc. and the resulting (i) shareholders agreement between the parties; and (ii) the bancassurance agreement with RCBC.
Recently, Mr. Navato advised Zurich Insurance in connection with its proposed bid for an equity interest in PNB Life Insurance, Inc. and the corresponding bancassurance agreement with Philippine National Bank.
Mr. Navato has likewise acted as Philippine counsel for a syndicate of banks in connection with the refinancing of the corporate credit facilities of OceanaGold Corporation. He also acted as Philippine counsel with respect to the Facility Agreement extended by Coopertieve Centrale Raiffeisen-Boeren Ieenbank B.A., Hong Kong Branch to Prasad Seeds Philippines, Inc. He is currently working as Philippine counsel for a syndicate of foreign lenders on a project financing involving a hydropower facility in the Philippines.
Mr. Navato acted as Philippine counsel of CVC Asia Pacific Limited in connection with its acquisition, and the financing thereof, of SPi Technologies, Inc., SPi CRM, Inc., and Infocom Technologies, Inc. from SPi Global Holdings, Inc. He likewise acted as (i) counsel of the issuer in connection with the US$920 Million top-up offering of LT Group, Inc.; (ii) counsel for the underwriters UBS Investment Bank and Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. in connection with the backdoor listing and top-up offering of Melco Crown Entertainment; and (iii) counsel for the underwriters in connection with the Php6.8 Billion stock rights offering of Del Monte Pacific Ltd. in the Philippines and Singapore. Previously, Mr. Navato assisted: (i) Puregold Price Club, Inc. in connection with its acquisition of S&R Membership Shopping Stores through a share for share swap transaction; and (ii) Costco Capital, Inc. in connection with its acquisition of Office Warehouse, Inc.
Mr. Navato also has extensive experience in acquisitions involving energy projects having recently advised foreign clients in such projects involving their proposed acquisition of various power generation facilities in the Philippines, as well as the assets relating to the nationwide transmission system of the National Power Corporation. He was also a part of ACCRALAW’s team of lawyers that provided advice to the World Bank on rural electrification in the Philippines.
Mr. Navato acts as either Corporate Secretary or Assistant Corporate Secretary in various multinational companies such as Marsh Philippines, Inc., Dell International Services Philippines, Inc., and adidas Philippines, Inc.
Mr. Navato co-authored the chapter on the Philippines in the book A Legal Guide to Doing Business in the Asia-Pacific published by the American Bar Association in 2010.
Mr. Navato is a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (“IBP”). He has previously served as Chairperson of the Publications Committee of the IBP Makati City Chapter.