Wolf Theiss


One Austrian banking holding, six SEE banks and three leasing companies in the region with total assets of EUR 8.4 billion: The SEE network of state-owned Hypo Alpe Adria was acquired by US private equity fund Advent International together with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Wolf Theiss advised on the buy-side in six jurisdictions.

It is one of the biggest transactions in the banking sector since 2008. One day before Christmas, the signing of final and binding contracts to sell and transfer the Balkan banks from state-owned Hypo Alpe Adria to US-investor Advent International and EBRD was announced. Subject to the approval of the banking regulatory authorities, the competition authorities, the European Union and customary completion conditions, closing is planned by June 2015.

The negotiations were lengthy and complex. In a negotiation marathon of more than 10 months all involved stakeholders including the Hypo management, the Republic of Austria`s financial sector holding FIMBAG and the Austrian Ministry of Finance, the consortium and Hypo put together a package involving the transfer of all shares in the Austrian holding company including the SEE banks and leasing companies in Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia at a preliminary purchase price of up to EUR 200 million. The transaction further involves refinancing lines of EUR 2.2 billion and provides for the network`s turbulent past.

Wolf Theiss worked with a fully integrated cross-border team. The transaction was led by Banking & Finance Partner Andrea Gritsch (Lead Banking M&A) together with Banking & Finance Partner Claus Schneider (Lead Finance). The core team further comprised Partners Richard Wolf (Banking) and Guenter Bauer (State aid) as well as Associate Zeno Grabmayr (Transaction General), Consultant Christine Siegl (Regulatory), Counsel Roland Marko (IP&IT), Counsel Karl Binder (Real Estate) and Partner Matthias Unterrieder (Employment). The local law aspects for the various target banks and leasing companies were handled by the Wolf Theiss SEE offices whose teams included Partner Luka Tadić-Čolić (Croatia with assets comprising half of the target group`s balance sheet total), Klemen Radosavljevič (Slovenia with the second-largest bank and significant leasing assets), Partner Nataša Lalović (Serbia with the next largest target bank) and Counsel Naida Čustović (Bosnia with two banks and one leasing company).

Citigroup acted as investment adviser.

For further information please contact

Barbara Fürchtegott
Public Relations & Communications Manager
T. +43 1 51510 3808
Schubertring 6
1010 Vienna

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