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Michael Foundethakis

Partner
Baker & McKenzie SCP

Biography

Michael Foundethakis is the global chair of Baker McKenzie’s Banking & Finance Practice Group. In addition, he heads Banking & Finance in Paris and acts as global head of Trade & Export Finance. Mr. Foundethakis is highly recommended as a leading banking and finance lawyer by Chambers Global, Legal 500, JUVE and IFLR. Additionally, he was the exclusive winner of the ILO Client Choice Award2011 in Banking for Germany. A team led by Michael Foundethakis was awarded Banking, Finance & Restructuring Team of the Year at The African Legal Awards 2015.

Practice Focus

Mr. Foundethakis has broad experience acting for both lenders and borrowers in a wide range of international finance transactions. He is primarily involved in cross-border project finance (including vendor financing), acquisition finance, structured trade finance (including ECA-backed export finance), financial restructurings and the trading of distressed loans in the secondary debt market. Much of this work entails dealing with export credit agencies, multi-lateral development banks and other governmental institutions. His main focus is on emerging markets, particularly Central and Eastern Europe, the CIS and Africa.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Acting for a syndicate of 34 lenders led by Commerzbank AG in relation to a dual-currency, dual-tranche EUR406.5 million and USD458 million term loan facility agreement to African Export-Import Bank (For their role as legal counsel on this matter, Baker McKenzie were awarded Banking, Finance & Restructuring Team of the Year at The African Legal Awards 2015). 
  • Acting as lead counsel to the creditors' Steering Committee (including commercial lenders, trade finance banks, Export Credit Agencies and bondholders) of BTA Bank in Kazakhstan in relation to the USD16.7 billion restructuring of its financial indebtedness – the largest ever financial restructuring in the CIS (Euromoney 2010, Central and Eastern European Deal of the Year).
  • Acting for One Equity Partners in relation to the sale of the Vacuumschmelze Group (VAC) for approximately USD1 billion to the OM Group - the largest private equity deal in Germany in 2011.
  • Acting for Proparco, DEG and FMO (the French, German and Dutch development banks) in relation to a USD189 million corporate loan to the Aga Khan Foundation for Economic Development (AKFED) - one of the agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network, dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship and to building to provide financing to AKFED in order that it may on-lend and finance numerous projects in Africa and other developing regions.
  • Acting for a syndicate of lenders led by Commerzbank in relation to a USD1 billion dual-tranche term loan facility agreement to Investec Bank Ltd. in the Republic of South Africa.
  • Acting for Allianz Capital Partners (ACP) and Deutsche Seerederei (DSR) in connection with the financing of the EUR1.56 billion leveraged buyout of Scandlines AG.
  • Acting as lead counsel to the international creditors' Steering Committee of First Ukrainian International Bank in relation to the restructuring of its financial indebtedness; the first ever successful restructuring of the international debt of a Ukrainian bank.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Law Society of England & Wales - Member
  • Paris Bar Association - Member
  • Munich Bar Association - Member
  • International Chamber of Commerce - Member

Admissions

  • Paris~France (2011)
  • Germany (2004)
  • England & Wales~United Kingdom (1995)

Education

  • College of Law at Guildford (L.S.F.) (1993)
  • College of Law at Guildford (C.P.E.) (1992)
  • American School of Classical Studies (Athens) (R.M.) (1991)
  • University of Pennsylvania (B.A.) (1990)
  • University of Pennsylvania (M.A.) (1990)

Languages

  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Greek

Previous Offices

  • Munich
  • London