Mr. Barona is a Founding Partner of Axia and has approximately 25 years of investment banking experience in Latin America and Europe. Before returning to Colombia in 2006, he worked 12 years with Citigroup London and was a Director in the Credit Markets Group responsible for debt origination and structuring for European clients. He focused on acquisition financings, restructuring, and other type of structured transactions. Mr. Barona has worked on financing and M&A transactions with an aggregate value exceeding USD150 billion in Latin America and Europe across a wide spectrum of industries.
Since his return to Colombia in 2006, some of the transactions in which Mr. Barona has advised include: the USD1 billion financing for Davivienda´s acquisition of Banco Cafetero, two acquisitions by Compass Group plc (UK) in Colombia, a three way merger of oil services companies to create the largest in their principal business, the second largest corporate syndicated loan in the Colombian bank market (at the time) for Ocensa´s leverage recapitalization and the sale of Termoflores to Celsia.
At Citigroup London, Mr. Barona led landmark financings such as a USD16.0 billion acquisition financing for Repsol (Spain), Cemex’s (Spain) USD5.8 billion financing in 2004 for the acquisition of RMC, largest ever Latin American syndicated loan at the time, Auna´s (Spain) EUR4.5 billion loan, European Project Finance deal of the Year in 2005 and several syndicated loans for Telefonica (Spain). Mr. Barona was one of 4 Senior Securities Officer responsible for Citigroup´s syndicated loan underwriting positions in Europe and its main role was to ensure financings were priced and structured to clear the market.
Mr. Barona received his masters degree (Maîtrise en Administration et Gestion, Summa Cum Laude) from the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium and his Bachelor of Science from Babson College, Massachusetts, USA.