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Dentons, Allen & Overy, White & Case, and Zizlavsky Advise on Smartwings' out-of-court Restructuring and CZK 2 Billion Financing

Dentons, Allen & Overy, White & Case, and Zizlavsky Advise on Smartwings' out-of-court Restructuring and CZK 2 Billion Financing

Czech Republic
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Dentons has advised Czech airline Smartwings on its out-of-court restructuring and CZK 2 billion financing from UniCredit Bank, Komercni Banka, Ceskoslovenska Obchodni Banka, and Ceska Sporitelna, which will allow it to continue operating in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. White & Case advised the lenders, and Allen & Overy, Holland & Knight, and Norton Rose advised selected lessors on the deal. AK Zizlavsky advised Smartwings on insolvency law aspects.

The Export Guarantee and Insurance Company secured the loan as part of the Czech government’s COVID Plus program to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.

According to Dentons, “prior to the pandemic, Smartwings Group was a profitable airline and one of the fastest-growing in Central Europe. However, due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions, it recorded an unprecedented drop in revenue and had to implement a number of restructuring measures, including the layoff of 600 people and the implementation of a creditor-supported moratorium. The financing deal, which concluded the moratorium, will allow Smartwings to finance its operations for the coming financial period. The airline will operate flights not only from the Czech Republic, but also from Poland, France, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Canary Islands.”

Dentons’ team included, in Prague, Partner Jiri Tomola, Counsel Vaclav Zalud, Senior Associate Martin Mandulak, Associates Katerina Pracna, Diana Herdzinova, Sona Baranova, Ondrej Vales, Eva Klimova, and David Sutko, and Paralegal Bohdan Chrenovsky; in Budapest, Partner Gergely Horvath and Associates Kinga Kovacs, Gabriella Pataki, Bence Boszormenyi, and Nora Nagy; in Warsaw, Partners Tomasz Trocki, Mateusz Toczyski, and Bartosz Nojek and Associate Magda Kulesza; in Bratislava, Partners Stanislava Valientova and Peter Kubina, Counsel Patricia Gossanyiova, and Associates Richard Marcincin, Petra Strbova, and Bianca Bohmova; in Munich, Counsels Surbhi Malhotra-Trenkel and Carl Bjarnram; in London, Partners Stephen Temple and Ian Fox and Counsel Luci Mitchell-Fry; and in Dublin, Partner Gareth Steen.

Zizlavsky's team included Partners Michal Zizlavsky and Adam Sigmund and Counsel Roman Machacek.

Allen & Overy's Prague-based team included Counsels Petra Mysakova and Petr Sprinz, Senior Associates Robert Pavlu, and Associates Martin Bytcanek and Jiri Rahm.

Editor's Note: After this article was published, the Prague office of Clifford Chance announced that it advised selected lessors and other creditors on the restructuring. The firm's team consisted of Partner Milos Felgr, Associate Tereza Rehorova, and Senior Associates Dominik Vojta and Vladimir Rylich.

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HAVEL & PARTNERS, attorneys-at-law, with offices in Prague, Brno, Bratislava, Pilsen, Olomouc, and Ostrava, has a team of 220 lawyers, tax advisors and 500 employees in total, is the largest independent law firm in Central Europe.

Our clients include large international companies, leading Czech and Slovak firms, including strategic state-owned companies and public sector authorities, as well as medium-size businesses, individual entrepreneurs, and investors. We advise approximately 100 of the Fortune 500 companies, and almost 50 of the Czech Top 100 companies. HAVEL & PARTNERS currently provides its services to a total of 2,000 clients. We have the most comprehensive international support available to both Czech and Slovak law firms. We provide legal and tax advice in 12 world languages in more than 90 countries around the globe. Up to 70 % of the transactions we deal with involve an international aspect.

HAVEL & PARTNERS was named the best law firm operating in the Czech Republic by the prestigious British rating agencies Chambers and Partners (2020) and Who’s Who Legal (2018, 2019). It is also the most successful law firm, providing the most comprehensive legal services in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, based on the total number of all nominations and awards in all years of the Law Firm of the Year awards. The firm became the absolute winner of this competition four times in the last six years, receiving the main award Domestic Law Firm of the Year in the Czech Republic (2015, 2017, 2018, 2020) and ranking as one of the most recommended law firms in all categories of law. Our company is also a three-time winner of the Law Firm of the Year award for Best Client Services (2015, 2016, 2019). In the field of M&A, HAVEL & PARTNERS is the best law firm in the Czech Republic based on the annual International Advisory Experts awards (2018, 2019). In Slovakia, it also won the prestigious global M&A Today Awards (2013–2018) for Mergers & Acquisitions six times in a row, and repeatedly won first place in the ranking by Lawyer International Legal 100 (2017, 2018). Prestigious international rating agencies EMIS DealWatch and Mergermarket have ranked HAVEL & PARTNERS among the leading law firms by the number of transactions completed in the entire CEE region since 2009. Based on annual awards of the Acquisition International magazine, HAVEL & PARTNERS has become the Law Firm of the Year 2019 in the M&A category in the CEE region.

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