White & Case, working with Greece's Koutalidis Law Firm, has advised the four systemic Greek banks – Alpha Bank, Eurobank, National Bank of Greece, and Piraeus Bank – on their entry into a servicing agreement with Italian credit institution doBank S.p.A. Bernitsas advised doBank on Greek law matters.
"This is an unprecedented move by the four banks to establish a servicing platform for the management of common non-performing loans extended by the banks to small- and medium-sized enterprises," said Dubai-based White & Case Partner Debashis Dey, who co-led the firm's team was with Partner Gavin Weir. "By establishing a multi-bank external servicing platform, the structure will reduce the banks' exposures to, and maximize recoveries of, common customer non-performing loans, provide access to potentially new sources of funding for SMEs, protect the viability and facilitate the sustainability of Greek SMEs, and support the recovery of the Greek economy."
Following an international tender process, Italy-headquartered doBank, which is listed on the Milan Stock Exchange and has nominal assets under management of more than EUR 88 billion as of March 2018, was selected by the Greek banks from more than fifteen servicing institutions.
DoBank will manage recoveries of the common non-performing loans of more than 300 Greek SMEs with a total nominal value of approximately EUR 1.8 billion, by facilitating the search of viable restructuring solutions through increasing cooperativeness from the SMEs, implementing effective and viable restructuring strategies, accelerating and applying decision-making processes and providing access to new sources of financing for sustainable SMEs.
In addition to Dey and Weir, the White & Case team included Partner Laura Sizemore and Dubai-based Counsel Claudio Medeossi and Associate Adam Gao.
The Koutalidis team consisted of Partners Nikos Salakas, George Naskaris, Stamatis Drakakakis, Nikitas Fortsakis, and Evangelos Courakis, and Associate Effie Papoutsi.
The Bernitsas team consisted of Partner Athanasia Tsene, Senior Associate Dionysis Flambouras, and Associate Yannis Potamias.