Rapid change has taken place across the region, accelerated by the accession of many of its countries to the EU.

Governments and leading global companies and financial institutions rely on Linklaters long-standing expertise in these fast-growing jurisdictions. The firm’s leading office in Poland serves as the regional hub, but Linklaters also has dedicated experts across the firm who specialise in jurisdictions such as the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and the Baltic States. Partners across Linklaters’ global offices staff specialised desks for Turkey and other parts of Central and Eastern and South East Europe. This allows the firm to maintain an in-depth knowledge of individual markets within the overall strength of Linklaters’ global network.

The firm has exceptionally strong relationships with local law firms in countries where it does not have offices. Through its long history of operating in this region, Linklaters has developed an unrivalled track record in complex and ground-breaking corporate/M&A, private equity, banking & finance, real estate and project finance. The firm is uniquely able to unite global and local commercial understanding with successful project management.

Banking

Areas of expertise: acquisition finance, syndicated finance, trade and emerging markets finance, real estate finance, restructuring and insolvency

Experience:
  • Advising New World Resources, a Central European hard coal producer, listed at the London, Prague and Warsaw stock exchanges, on the balance sheet restructuring of the company. The restructuring had been proposed to respond to persistent global pressure on both coking and thermal coal pricing
  • Advising the temporary administrator and subsequently the bankruptcy administrator of Bankas Snoras, a Lithuanian universal bank with international operations and the largest deposit taking institution in Lithuania 
  • Advising Reavis, one of the largest Slovak real estate developers, on the PLN 214m financing and refinancing of a land acquisition in Warsaw
  • Advising The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ as coordinator in a syndicate of 17 banks on the €2bn multicurrency revolving credit facility for Polski Koncern Naftowy ORLEN S.A., a leading Polish refiner of crude oil
Key contacts
Mirthe van Kesteren, Banking Partner

Jarosław Miller, Banking Partner

Capital Markets

Areas of expertise: equity and equity-linked products, debt and liability management

Experience:
  • Equity: advising on the equity issues by Gospodarki Żywnościowej, Compagnie Generale des Etablissements Michelin, Mennica Polska, PZU, LC Corp and E-STAR Alternatív Energiaszolgáltató Nyrt 
  • EMTN programme establishment: advising both issuers and underwriters on the establishment of EMTN programmes by PGNiG, PKN Orlen S.A., First Investment Finance, City of Prague, City of Warsaw, Czech Republic and Romania acting through its ministries of finance
  • EMTN drawdowns and standalone issues: advising issuers and underwriters on the bond issues by Petrol d.d., Bank Ochrony Środowiska, Aperam, Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo, MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas, Telekom Slovenije, d.d. and others
  • Sovereign debt: advising on the bond issues by sovereigns including Bulgaria, Hungary, Lithuania, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia
Key contacts
Jarosław Miller, Banking Partner

Tomasz Zorawski, Head of CEE Desk, Corporate/M&A Partner

Corporate and Mergers and Acquisitions

Areas of expertise: mergers and acquisitions, establishment of joint ventures, corporate reorganisation, general corporate advice.

Experience:
  • Advising PZU, the largest insurance company in Poland and Central and Eastern Europe, on the acquisition of the Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian and Polish businesses of Royal & Sun Alliance. This was the first successful foreign acquisition by PZU 
  • Advising VAS Privatizacijas Agentura on the US$74m sale of a 75% stake in AS Citadele banka, the largest locally owned bank in Latvia with presences in Lithuania, Estonia and Switzerland, to a pool of private investors led by a US private equity firm, and arrangements with EBRD, the remaining shareholder of AS Citadele banka 
  • Advising Sberbank, Russia’s pre-eminant bank and the largest lender in Eastern Europe, on the US$3.5bn acquisition of DenizBank, one of the largest banks in Turkey. This is the first ever acquisition of a Turkish bank by a Russian bank, one of the largest acquisitions of a foreign bank by a Russian bank and the largest deal in EMEA in 2012 
  • Advising Lesaffre Serbia, the leader in the domain of bread-making yeast and yeast extracts, on its acquisition of certain identified assets and employees relating to Alltech Serbia's business of selling baker's yeast for human consumption. The transaction was of a strategic importance to Lesaffre for the development of its activities in Eastern Europe
Key contacts
Tomasz Zorawski, Head of CEE Desk, Corporate/M&A Partner

Daniel Cousens, Corporate/M&A Partner

Private Equity

Areas of expertise: buy-side, sell-side, dual track and spin-outs

Experience: 
  • Advising Alinda Capital Partners, one of the world's largest infrastructure investment firms, on the acquisition of 100% of Emitel, the leading television and radio broadcast infrastructure provider in Poland. The deal marks Alinda’s successful entry onto the Polish market and widely CEE region and has been reported as the largest private equity acquisition historically on the Polish market 
  • Advising Mid Europa Partners on the €400m sale by way of international auction of the LuxMed Group, the number one provider of private out-patient healthcare in Poland. The deal was reported as the largest private equity deal in Poland of 2012 
  • Advising Salford Capital Partners, a Serbia-based private equity and venture capital firm, on the proposed sale of Imlek and Mlekara Subotica, the largest dairy companies operating in the Western Balkans
  • Advising Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity on the €800m secondary buyout of Euromedic, the largest combined dialysis, diagnostic imaging and laboratory diagnostics services provider in Europe, from Warburg Pincus. It was the largest CEE buyout of the year, and winner of Emerging Europe Deal of the Year at the European Private Equity Award
Key contacts
Tomasz Zorawski, Head of CEE Desk, Corporate/M&A Partner

Project finance

Areas of expertise: energy and infrastructure

Experience:
  • Advising the existing and new senior lenders on the €1.35bn refinancing of Budapest Airport, involving a restructuring of the debt. The deal was named European Airport Deal of the Year (2014) by IJ Global and Refinancing of the Year in Europe (2014) by PFI 
  • Advising China Development Bank on the €350m project financing of a 300MW mine mouth coal fired power plant in Stanari, Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina. This was the first ever project financing lead by a Chinese bank in Europe and one of the largest ever IPPs in South-Eastern Europe 
  • Advising Granvia A.S, Meridiam Infrastructure Managers SARL and Vinci Concessions Slovakia on the €1.2bn fixed rate project bond in relation to the refinancing of the R1 Expressway in Slovakia. This transaction is thought by the sponsors to be one of the largest PPP project bonds ever brought to market, and it is the first project bond for a Slovakian issuer
  • Advising the commercial banks and EBRD on the proposed US$1.5bn project bond financing for the construction and operation of the first LNG re-gasification terminal built in Poland
Key contacts
Ian Andrews, Project Partner

Daniel Tyrer, Projects Partner

Patryk Figiel, Energy Managing Associate

Real estate

Areas of expertise: Funds/JVs, leasing/sale and leasebacks, construction, development, investment, and distressed real estate

Experience:
  • Advising a consortium including Allianz Real Estate and ECE on the €412m acquisition of Silesia City Center, one of Poland’s largest shopping malls located in Katowice. The deal was reported as the largest real estate M&A deal in Poland and wider CEE region in 2013 
  • Advising a Middle East sovereign wealth fund on the acquisition and development of an upscale leisure resort on the Adriatic coast 
  • Advising Prologis, a global industrial real estate investment trust, on the indirect acquisition of one of its largest competitors in the European market. The deal consisted of the acquisition of a large portfolio of industrial properties across Europe with a significant number of developed properties in the CEE region, as well as sites under development
Key contacts
Artur Kulawski, Real Estate Partner


“...‘stands out when it comes to cross-border transactions involving various areas of laws, jurisdictions and businesses’. ...A heavyweight in M&A, finance, projects and energy...”
Legal 500 2015, Central & Eastern Europe

“Linklaters LLP is ‘one of the preferred firms for emerging markets work – consistent and reliable’, and has ‘thorough knowledge of energy projects’.”
Legal 500 UK 2015, Finance: Emerging Markets

Our Turkey Desk Linklaters has established a dedicated Turkish desk headed by a team of partners with particular knowledge of the market. Find out more about our Turkey Desk here. Turkey
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