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GDB grants $1.6 million contract to consulting firm

By on March 6, 2017

SAN JUAN – The Government Development Bank (GDB) awarded a $1.6 million contract to consulting firm Ankura, for which former GDB President Juan Carlos Batlle and Puerto Rican attorney Jorge San Miguel work from Puerto Rico.

As first reported by Caribbean Business last month, the Puerto Rico government had been in negotiations with the firm to advise on the troubled GDB’s restructuring. The contract was signed Feb. 23 and runs through June 30.

Meanwhile, both Batlle, who served as GDB president under former Gov. Luis Fortuño, and San Miguel were appointed executive managing directors of the new Ankura office in Puerto Rico, whose opening was announced by the firm through a press release days before the contract was signed. Both will lead Ankura’s efforts in advising municipal and corporate clients in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and Latin America, according to the press release.

Krueger Batlle Isaac ZandiSan Miguel, who has worked primarily in environmental and energy matters, led the draft of the permitting reform presented by Fortuño. Before joining Ankura, he was a partner at local law firm Ferraiuoli and recently testified before the U.S. Congress on the federal Promesa law, including energy infrastructure and permitting issues, the statement reads.

As for Batlle, the release recalls his role in the public-private partnership transactions of the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport and its operator, Aerostar Airport Holdings, as well as with the concession of highways PR-22 and PR-5 to the consortium comprised by Abertis and Goldman Sachs. The former GDB president also testified before Congress in relation to Promesa and worked in CPG Island Servicing—a private equity firm focused on real estate throughout the Caribbean and Latin America—before joining Ankura.

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