Cobalt has advised DNB on the merger of its existing banking, leasing, and pensions businesses in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania with those of Nordea to create Luminor, which the firm describes as "the largest ever transaction in the Baltic banking market."
Luminor started operations on October 1, 2017 after receiving approval from the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian Financial Supervision Authorities. According to Cobalt, the firm "advised on all legal aspects of the deal and was assigned a leading role in applying for merger clearance from the European Commission, obtaining a new banking license from the European Central Bank and carrying out the closing of the transaction across the Baltics."
Cobalt's pan-Baltic financial regulatory work stream and closing team was led by Estonian Partner Kristel Raidla-Talur, with Senior Associate Heleri Tammiste responsible for closing preparations and project management across jurisdictions and Partner Elo Tamm overseeing pan-Baltic merger control matters. Also involved, in Estonia, were Cobalt Partners Peeter Kutman and Karina Paatsi, Associates Mart Blondal, Mattias Tammeaid, Madis Reppo, Greete-Kristiine Kuru, and Liina Saaremets, Specialist Counsel Ott Aava, Senior Associates Karl Kull and Heili Haabu, and Junior Associate Marit Martens. The Latvian team consisted of Partners Dace Silava-Tomsone and Toms Sulmanis, Specialist Counsel Andrejs Lielkalns, Senior Associates Elina Locmele and Sandija Novicka, Associates Diana Zepa, Viktorija Alksne, Alise Artamonova, Janis Rusis, and Krisjanis Buss. The firm's Lithuanian team consisted of Partner Irmantas Norkus, Managing Associates Eva Suduiko and Rasa Zasciurinskaite, Associates Aurelija Balciune, Justinas Sileika, Laurynas Juozapaitis and Jovita Valatkaite.
As previously reported, Sorainen advised Nordea on the deal.
Editor's Note: On January 3, 2019, Cobalt announced that "on 2 January 2019 Luminor completed its pan-Baltic merger and will continue its operations in all Baltic countries via Luminor Bank AS registered in Estonia and its branches in Latvia and Lithuania."
According to the firm, "the cross-border merger agreement was signed on 29 March 2018, and Luminor received the final merger approval from the European Central Bank on 28 June 2018 as reported by CEE Legal Matters on July 12, 2018. The cross-border merger, initiated on 1 October 2017, is the final stage of activities that combine DNB´s and Nordea´s Baltic operations."