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Shearman & Sterling, Koutalidis, and Freshfields Advise on Hellenic Financial Stability Fund Sale of 22% Stake in National Bank of Greece

Shearman & Sterling, Koutalidis, and Freshfields Advise on Hellenic Financial Stability Fund Sale of 22% Stake in National Bank of Greece

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Shearman & Sterling has advised the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund on its EUR 1.1 billion fully marketed offering of a 22% stake in the National Bank of Greece. Koutalidis, working with Milbank, advised the offering's coordinators, managers, and underwriters. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advised the National Bank of Greece.

JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs Investment Banking Europe, Morgan Stanley Europe, and UBS Europe were the joint global coordinators. BofA Business Securities Europe, the AXIA Ventures Group, and Euroxx Securities acted as managers. Euroxx Securities was also the advisor and lead underwriter, while NBG Securities acted as lead underwriter. JP Morgan also acted as disposal advisor to the HFSF.

Founded in 1841, the NBG's shares have been listed on the ATHEX since 1880. It is one of the four systemic banks in Greece, with a market capitalization of approximately EUR 5.57 billion as of November 2023.

Before this transaction, the HFSF held a 40.39% stake in the NBG. The offering was addressed to retail and qualified investors in Greece and foreign institutional investors, through private placements. According to Koutalidis, "the Offering, which was the first fully marketed offering completed by the HFSF under its divestment policy, attracted very strong investor demand as it was more than eight times oversubscribed."

According to Freshfields, "the transaction is the largest European privatization FMO since 2005, the largest Greek equity capital markets transaction since 2021, and the largest secondary placement in Greece since 2005."

"The successful completion of the offering of 22% of National Bank's share capital to international and Greek investors, which was oversubscribed, is a very positive development for National Bank and the banking system of the country," Greek Minister of National Economy and Finance Kostis Hatzidakis commented. "It follows other recent positive developments in the sector and the successive upgrade of the country's credit rating in the last few months. The transaction was the most successful in the EU during the last three years in terms of demand and minimizing the discount on the offer price. It is a source of optimism for our banking system and the Greek economy."

The Shearman & Sterling team included London-based Partners Pawel Szaja and Barnabas Reynolds and Associates Silvia Montanya, Stavros Bakolas, and Evangelia Andronikou.

The Koutalidis team included Managing Partner Nikos Koritsas and Partners Nikos Salakas and George Naskaris.

The Freshfields team included London-based Partners Christopher Mort and Doug Smith, Counsel Richard Ho, and Senior Associate Mazen Talih.