M&A and Privatisation - Practice Highlights

  • The only Greek Law Firm ever listed in the Financial Times Law 50 Report
  • Corporate / Commercial Leading Firm 2013 (Chambers Europe)
  • Mergers & Acquisitions Law Firm of the Year 2013 (ACQ Global Awards)
  • Mergers & Acquisitions Law Firm of the Year 2012 (Lawyer Monthly)
  • Tier I in the “Privatisation and Projects” section (2003, 2006 and 2007) in the European Legal 500 (since then there have not been many privatisations in Greece)
  • Managing Partner, Dimitris Paraskevas:
    1. Ranks consistently as one of the best M&A lawyers in Greece (International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers 2005-2013; Legal Media Group Expert Guides 2007-2013);
    2. Has served as the Secretary for Privatisation from 1993 until 1999 under three different Governments of both parties that form the current Greek coalition Government. During this time, the Greek privatisation programme raised more than USD 10 bn in proceeds and as a result he was named “Super Salesman” by the Financial Times (June 4, 1999).

I. What the market says about us

  • Paraskevas Law Firm is highly recommended for major transactional work.” (Legal 500, 2014)
  • Paraskevas Law Firms ‘very responsive’ team is ‘plugged into the local market.’” (Legal 500, 2013)
  • “This boutique firm specialises in advising multinational clients, and has a strong M&A-focused practice. Sources say: ‘We would use the team again; it is professional, efficient, and performs to a high international standard.’” (Chambers Europe, 2013)
  • “Paraskevas Law Firm ‘provides a level of commercially minded, user-friendly service comparable with that of the leading international law firms.’” (Legal 500, 2012)
  • “Elias Paraskevas is also renowned in the market for its M&A capabilities.” (IFLR 1000, 2012)
  • “Overseas clients laud it as ‘a first-rate firm with international expertise, which is not often the case in Greece.’” (Chambers and Partners Global, 2011)
  • “Elias Paraskevas Attorneys is best known for its corporate work. The firm has deep experience in representing foreign clients in a range of matters and a strong reputation for corporate work where it has experience advising foreign entrants into the market in acquisitions.” (IFLR 1000, 2011)

II. Our practice

Our firm has specialist expertise in M&A and privatisations from over 150 transactions in excess of USD 200 bn. Often, we have been called to assist in what was probably the biggest M&A deal in the country. In the past six years, since the beginning of the crisis, we have also been advising a number of companies on downsizing/disinvesting/exiting the jurisdiction by selling their Greek business given the state of the Greek economy.

III. Indicative recent experience

  • Acting as local counsel to a major UK law firm advising a leading US-based broadband and telecommunications company on its USD 130 bn acquisition of the stake of a UK multinational telecommunications company in their wireless business joint venture, one of the three largest M&A deals in history;
  • Acting as local counsel to a major US law firm in connection with an over USD 4 bn global acquisition of a leading US bank holding company by a major automobile multinational, involving a number of local entities;
  • Advising one of the largest US investment funds in connection with the acquisition of a stake in the Greek listed corporation selected for the development of one of the major State assets, with particular focus on formulating elaborate shareholders’ / relationship agreements and effecting changes to the corporation’s statute;
  • Advising a European leader in the automotive sector directly as well as through a leading UK law firm in connection with its exit from the Greek market by means of a EUR 9 mn share deal;
  • Advising a major UK investment fund in connection with the financing of the privatization of the Greek gaming corporation and a leading UK investment management firm in connection with particular aspects of the Greek privatization programme;
  • Advising strategic investors in respect of forthcoming privatisations, including a financial advisor in the public gas corporation (DEPA) privatisation, as well as various members of Hellenic Governments with regard to the Greek privatisation programme;
  • Advising a leading European company in communications on due diligence and associated matters (purchaser’s liability, local law particularities of asset deals) in connection with a distressed investment in Greece;
  • Advising a major French generics pharmaceutical company with regard to its downsizing in the local market;
  • Acting on behalf of an investor in a shipping company structuring its exit from shipping investments.

Other notable recent experience includes:

  • Advising as Greek counsel to a leading US law firm the global leading provider of insurance and other financial services on matters arising from its acquisition of a major global life insurance company for over USD 16 bn;
  • Acting on behalf of a leading global specialty US pharmaceutical company on its acquisition of a local privately-held multinational generic drug developer for USD 562 mn;
  • Acting as local counsel to a UK magic circle law firm advising Europe's largest TV, radio, and production company with respect to the sale of  a local TV station;
  • Acting as local counsel to a leading US law firm advising the leading French building and civil engineering company on its bid for the acquisition of the shares in a subsidiary of a major German construction company active in the field of airports construction and operation; particular emphasis was placed on the complex framework governing the Athens International Airport, a EUR 2 bn PPP project;
  • Advising a major French law firm with respect to the local affiliate of one of the most established marine insurance brokerage firms in the French market on an array of corporate issues relating to sale of shares;
  • Acting as local counsel to a UK law firm advising a major worldwide marketing /advertising network in connection with structuring a multi-jurisdictional re-shuffling of intra-group shareholdings (including demergers and set-ups, spanning Greece, Cyprus and certain Balkan countries).

Our past experience, when there was a more active privatisation programme in Greece, includes:

  • Acting on behalf of a leading Greek Banking Group in the apprx. EUR 500 mn acquisition of the equity in a Government controlled bank from the Hellenic Government;
  • Acting on behalf of the Hellenic Government and its financial advisor in the sale of 100% of the share capital of the largest shipyards in Southeastern Europe - with shipbuilding contracts equal to over EUR 1 bn - to a consortium of German shipbuilding companies;
  • Representing one of the major Italian banking groups, during its participation in the due diligence stage of the international competitive tender process in relation to the acquisition of a shareholding in a Greek bank;
  • Representing a consortium in its negotiations with the Government for the acquisition of assets of the flag carrier for EUR 200 mn;
  • Acting on behalf of the Hellenic Government in the proposed privatisation of Hellenic Aerospace Industry S.A. The two consortia that entered bids were made up of some of the major players in the market;
  • Advising a leading Greek bank with regard to its cooperation with a leading European bank;
  • Advising a leading Swiss company in respect of an acquisition through the Belarusian government privatisation programme;
  • Advising international organisations with regard to privatisations in the Balkans, Russia, former Soviet Republics and Africa;
  • Acting on behalf of a European Post Group in its bid for the acquisition of up to 25% of the share capital and a joint venture for the courier arm of the Greek state-owned national postal operator;
  • Advising an international legal advisor for the purposes of composition of a PPP report for the Slovak Ministry of Finance evaluating the implementation of PPPs in various jurisdictions, with a view to helping the Ministry of Finance implement PPP legislation in Slovakia.

The only Greek Law Firm ever listed in the Financial Times Law 50 Report