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News from Members Clifford Chance Badea's M&A and Real Estate practice closes 2018 with a diversified portfolio of investors and deals

Clifford Chance Badea's M&A and Real Estate practice closes 2018 with a diversified portfolio of investors and deals

by Clifford Chance Badea December 6, 2018

Two important buy-side mandates were closed in December.

Clifford Chance Badea, the local office of global law firm Clifford Chance, has provided buy-side advisory in two major transactions finalized in December – the BNP Paribas Leasing acquisition of two Romanian companies from German-based IKB, and CA Immo's acquisition of the Campus 6.1 office building in Bucharest, from Skanska.

Announced in June, the BNP Paribas transaction marked IKB's exit from the domestic market. The Clifford Chance Badea team provided support to the French group from the beginning of the project, starting with the structuring and due diligence phase, and followed by advice on regulatory aspects, the negotiation process, the signing of the deal documents and the closing.

"We have thus closed a second major project in the Financial and Banking industry this year, following the acquisition of Piraeus Bank by J.C. Flowers & Co., a deal announced at the beginning of 2018 and closed this summer," Loredana Ralea, Counsel in the M&A Real Estate team of Clifford Chance Badea, and lead counsel of both projects, said. "They were two complex transactions, involving international profile investors and a strictly regulated market, with major implications for the economy overall. As such, we consolidated an already representative portfolio of Financial-Banking deals, which puts us first in line for a 2019 we already anticipate as continuing the consolidation process in the industry".

Austrian real estate developer CA Immo's acquisition of the office building that Skanska has developed in the Politehnica area in Bucharest has been valued at EUR 53 million, validating the potential of a new real estate development area in the Capital.

Andreea Șișman, Counsel specializing in Real Estate Finance, said: "In the past year, we have mostly advised financing and M&A projects in the office, logistics/industrial and commercial segments. Bucharest continues to dominate the charts in number of deals and values, but talks to clients about projects and financing in secondary Romanian markets have been more frequent lately, since these markets are shaping into clear development hubs for the future."

Mihai Măcelaru, Counsel in the M&A Real Estate team, added: "Real Estate investments continue to represent an interesting option, and not only for traditional investors. We see more and more entrepreneurs diversifying their portfolios with Real Estate assets. At the same time, the high profile investors' segment is getting close to reaching the psychological threshold of large deals, as large as we have seen in other markets, of hundreds of millions of Euro. The moment such deals will be closed in Real Estate, the market dynamic will accelerate very fast. Considering the projects we have in the pipeline, 2019 might be that year".

Nadia Badea, Partner and coordinator of the M&A Real Estate practice in Bucharest, concludes: "It's been an extremely dynamic year, with intense and diverse transactions from clients' profiles and industries' point of view. We are still working on M&A and Real Estate mandates that we hope to close in the first part of 2019. To a large extend, the market in Romania confirms global trends – a close competition for qualitative assets and an enhanced focused on competitive advantages currently making the difference on the market (innovation, agility in adapting to the market's dynamic, the technology's contribution to the business model, the level of responsibility in managing diverse business risks, and a management team with proven performance). The Private Equity segment is particularly active at the highly performing level, by investing in companies with leadership potential in their specific markets. We have two such examples in 2018 – Vitruvian Partners taking a 30% stake in BitDefender, and Abris Capital Partners' sale of Urgent Cargus”.

Milestone projects of the M&A Real Estate practice of Clifford Chance Badea this year include:

  • Advising private equity fund Abris Capital Partners on the sale of courier company Urgent Cargus to Mid Europa Partners;
  • Advising Czech Media Invest (CMI) throughout the acquisition of the CEE radio assets of multinational media conglomerate Lagardère Group;
  • Advising BNP Paribas Leasing in the acquisition of shares in two Romanian companies from German-based group IKB that exited the local market;
  • Advising CA Immo in relation to the acquisition of Campus 6.1 office building in Bucharest from Skanska, a deal valued at EUR 53 million;
  • Advising  J.C. Flowers & Co. in relation to the acquisition of Piraeus Bank Romania by funds advised by J.C. Flowers & Co., a deal marking the American investor's entry on the local market;
  • Advising the independent European private equity firm Vitruvian Partners in relation to its acquisition of a 30% stake in BitDefender, a leading global cyber security technology company;
  • Advising ROCKWOOL Romania during negotiations with CON-A Sibiu of the construction contract for a factory in Ploiesti, an initial investment of 50-million Euro that will represent the Danish group's first stone wool factory of Romania;
  • Advising a leading European real estate institutional investor on the envisaged disposal of its retail and office assets in Romania;
  • Ongoing advice to one of the world's largest hypermarket groups operating over 300 stores in Romania, on real estate matters regarding the expansion of its local retail network.

Clifford Chance has been present in Romania since 2006 and operates now as Clifford Chance Badea. The Bucharest office is fully integrated in the global network and is frequently involved in complex companies' acquisitions by strategic investors or private equity funds, real estate investments, syndicated loans, project finance, restructurings, Eurobonds and shares issues on international capital markets, derivatives, infrastructure and motorway projects, etc., as well as domestic and international litigation and arbitration.

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