“This crisis has the potential to be a lot worse than Lehman Brothers,” opined George Soros, the Hungarian-born American financier and philanthropist about the 2009 crisis, and he was right.
As summarized in CMS’s recently-released Emerging Europe M&A Report 2016/2017, the year just concluded, 2016, was an eventful one in Europe, as it included weak global growth and overall investor cautiousness, an attempted military coup in Turkey, a vote for the UK to leave the European Union, continued unrest in the east of Ukraine, continued application of sanctions in Russia, and the first full year of a new populist right-wing Government in Poland. There was plenty therefore to be concerned about, and we all feared what impact this might have on M&A deal activity in the region as a whole.
CMS's Polish and Swiss offices have advised the Bucher-Motorex Group on the acquisition of a lubricants factory in Poland from Circle K (the former Statoil Fuel&Retail). This is Motorex’s first acquisition in CEE.
CMS has advised ING Bank N.V., London Branch and other international banks as mandated lead arrangers of a new USD 420 million five year unsecured syndicated finance facility to Russian Railways. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer reportedly advised Russian Railways on the deal.
CMS has advised Spanish investment fund Azora Europa l on its sale of the Galleries Louvre office property in Prague to Redstone Real Estate. Squire Patton Boggs advised Redstone on the deal. The price was not disclosed.
CMS Budapest has advised Balbec Capital LP and APS Holding on the financing and acquisition of a non-performing loan portfolio of residential mortgages from UniCredit. The total claim value of the portfolio is HUF 42.7 billion, or approximately EUR 139 million. Reti, Antall & Partners — the law firm associated with PWC in Hungary — advised UniCredit on the deal, which is one of the first residential mortgage portfolio sale and purchase transactions on the Hungarian market.
CMS has advised iCotton, a manufacturer of hygiene products in Eastern Europe, on its acquisition of a controlling 59.95% stake Harper Hygienics from Polish Enterprise Fund V, a private equity fund managed by Enterprise Investors. Gessel advised the sellers on the deal.
Andreas Koehler has moved from Dentons to join CMS's Budapest office along with Senior Associate Gabor Toth.
Antitrust lawyer Dieter Zandler has been appointed a Partner of CMS's Vienna office.
Hogan Lovells has advised Arcus Infrastructure Partners on the acquisition of an 85% stake in the Gdansk Transport Company S.A., a special purpose company set up in 1996 to pursue the DBFMO project for the northern section of the AmberOne A1 motorway concession in Poland. The acquisition was a multi-step transaction, involving Arcus's acquisition of NDI Autostrada sp. z o.o. (NDIA), which owns a 25.31% stake in GTC, from Grupa NDI and Transport Infrastructure Investment Company (TIIC). As part of the acquisition, NDIA also exercised its right of first refusal on A1 Invest AB Skanska’s 30% stake and on John Laing Infrastructure Limited's 29.7% interest in GTC, taking NDIA’s ownership in GTC to 85%, with Intertoll Europe retaining the residual 15% shareholding and remaining the operator of the A1 motorway. Norton Rose Fulbright advised Grupa NDI and TIIC, CMS advised John Liang, and DLA Piper advised Skanska.