CMS, Gladei & Partners, and Efrim, Rosca & Associates Advise on Acquisition of Stake in Moldova's Largest Bank

CMS, Gladei & Partners, and Efrim, Rosca & Associates Advise on Acquisition of Stake in Moldova's Largest Bank

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Gladei & Partners has advised the EBRD and private equity firms AB Invalda INVL and Horizon Capital on Moldovan law matters related to their acquisition of a 41.09% stake in B.C. Moldova Agroindbank S.A. at an auction held by Moldova’s Public Property Agency. The EBRD was advised on English-law matters by CMS. Moldova Agroindbank and Moldova’s Government was represented by Efrim, Rosca & Associates.

Vilnius-based Invalda INVL is an asset management group in the Baltic States. The group’s companies have more than EUR 650 million of assets under management, entrusted to them by more than 190,000 clients in Lithuania and Latvia as well as international investors.

Horizon Capital is a private equity firm investing in Ukraine and Moldova through funds with a tenure of 25 years in the region. Backed by over 40 institutional investors from US and Europe, the firm has over USD 800 million under management. Horizon Capital is an active value-added investor, backing visionary entrepreneurs transforming the business landscape in the region.

On the MAIB investment, the partners paid EUR 23.031 million.

According to an EBRD press release, “the new shareholders, operating through UK-based company HEIM Partners, will bring the highest standards of corporate governance, new technologies and effective structures to strengthen the performance of Moldova’s leading bank, improve lending services for small businesses and support the wider economy.”

HEIM Partners is owned by the EBRD and Invalda INVL, with 37.5 per cent of shares each, and Horizon Capital, which holds the remaining 25 per cent and is responsible for strategic direction and management of the MAIB stake on behalf of the consortium.

“HEIM Partners has acquired the stake in MAIB in response to the Moldovan government’s search for a reputable investor, as the authorities and the regulator are working to re-establish a well-governed and commercially oriented banking sector,” the EBRD press release stated.

Francis Malige, EBRD Managing Director for Financial Institutions, commented: “The government showed strong political will and resolve to clean up the banking sector. It took a brave decision to support the sale process of MAIB, which – no doubt – will contribute to better banking services and stronger investments in the Moldovan economy as a whole. By doing that, the government backed the National Bank of Moldova in its massive effort to consolidate the banking system and make it more transparent.”

MAIB CEO Serghei Cebotari aded: “Today we are reaching one of the most important moments in Moldova Agroindbank’s history. The bank is happy to enter a new stage of its steady development, which will bring benefits to its customers, shareholders and society at large. MAIB welcomes the new shareholders – international financial institutions that will strengthen the bank’s position and the Moldovan financial sector. Despite difficult periods, MAIB has managed to achieve strong performance and continuous growth. As an institution, we will continue to embrace the highest standards of openness and governance and a corporate culture that is centered on integrity and sustainability.”

The Gladei & Partners team included Managing Partner Roger Gladei and Associates Dan Nicoara, Valeriu Cernei, Patricia Handraman, and Irina Sugoneaco. 

The CMS team was led by Managing Partner Graham Conlon, supported by Counsel Tetyana Dovgan, Associate Jamie Burgess, Lawyer Diana Pysarenko, and trainee solicitors Julian Goering and Kirsten Mansfield. 

The Efrim, Rosca & Associates team included Partner Oleg Efrim, Senior Consultant Ilona Panurco, and Associate Tinca Bodiu.