White & Case has advised Naspers Limited, the South African-based global Internet and media company, on its USD 1.2 billion investment in Avito, the leading online classifieds platform in Russia. Naspers is buying shares from existing shareholders to increase its stake in the Swedish holding company Avito AB from 17.4 percent to 67.9 percent on a fully diluted basis. Ashurst advised Avito on the matter.
The Competition Practice team of Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners successfully defended the interests of Yandex — Russia's largest IT company — against Google, in the former’s claim that the latter had abused the market in relation to pre-installed app stores for devices on the Android operating system.
Norton Rose Fulbright is advising Sacturino Limited — controlled by Said Kerimov, the son of billionaire Suleiman Kerimov — on its offer of USD 2.97 per share for the 59.8% share capital of Polyus Gold International that it or its parent Wandle Holdings Limited does not already own or have an interest in. Debevoise & Plimpton is advising Sacturino on financing aspects for its offer, which include a USD 5.49 billion facility arranged by VTB Bank — which was advised by Allen & Overy.
The London and Moscow offices of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP have advised NLMK Europe Plate Division in signing and closing a EUR 250 million revolving collateralized credit facility. The facility was signed with four international banks, led by Deutsche Bank as Coordinator, Bookrunner and Agent, which was advised by lawyers from Hogan Lovells Moscow office — along with lawyers from the firm’s Amsterdam office.
The facility is guaranteed by the NLMK Group — the largest steelmaker in Russia and one of the most efficient in the world — carries a margin of 2.00%, and has a tenor of four years.
NLMK's production assets are located in Russia, Europe, and the United States. The company’s liquid steel production capacity is over 17 million tonnes per year, of which about 16 million tonnes are produced in Russia. The company generated USD 10.4 billion in revenue; USD 2.4 billion in EBITDA; and a net profit of USD 845 million in 2014.
The Debevoise team advising NLMK was led by London Partner Alan Davies and Moscow Associate Dmitry Karamyslov, and included Moscow-based Associate Elena Bader. London Partner Richard Ward and Associate Patrick Fasoro provided tax advice.
Hogan Lovells advised Deutsche Bank as co-ordinating mandated lead arranger, bookrunner, and agent on the EUR 250 million revolving collateralized credit facility which is guaranteed by OJSC Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK) and made available to group company borrowers in Belgium and Italy. The firm’s team was led by London Finance Partner David Leggott and Associates Daniela Barrdear and Emma Milne. They were supported in Italy by Partners Federico del Monte (international debt capital markets) and Fulvia Astolfi, with assistance from Senior Associate Daniele Vella. Hogan Lovells Moscow-based Partner Alexander Rymko and Senior Associate Oleg Gritsenko and Amsterdam-based lawyers Wouter Jongen and Art van der Pols also supported on the matter.
Commenting on the transaction, David Leggott said: "We are delighted to have advised long-standing client Deutsche Bank on this deal and also to be working again with a key player in the steel sector market in the shape of NLMK. There has been tremendous teamwork from all parties on all sides to bring this matter to a successful conclusion.”
Lydian acted as Belgian counsel. The firm’s team was led by Tom Geudens, who was supported by Pieter Meeus and Pieterjan Van Assche.
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The IP practice of Goltsblat BLP is representing the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) on behalf of the world's three major record companies — Sony Music Russia, Universal Music Russia and Warner Music UK - on claims for the protection of related rights in phonograms against the social network “VKontakte.”
Liniya Prava has been retained to advise on the “Vnukovo Airfield Infrastructure Development” project. According to the firm, “the project involves preparation and conclusion of a concession agreement in relation to the airport’s airfield infrastructure between a grantor (a competent state authority) and a Vnukovo airport operator, which will allow [it] to raise finance from the Russian National Welfare Fund.
Following shortly after the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ordered that the Russian government pay USD 50 billion in damages to former Yukos shareholders (reported on by CEE Legal Matters on July 28, 2014), the European Court of Human Rights has now awarded the shareholders an additional EUR 1.86 billion in damages in a lawsuit filed against the Russian tax authorities.