Baker & McKenzie Advises on Acquisition of SEB Bank in Ukraine
13 June 2012
Kyiv, Ukraine, 13 June 2012 – Baker & McKenzie, the leading international law firm, announced it has acted as English and Ukrainian law counsel to a group of Ukrainian investors in respect of the acquisition of SEB Bank PJSC, a subsidiary bank of Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (publ), which is the holding company of SEB Group, one of the leading international financial groups headquartered in Sweden.
SEB Bank (formerly Bank Agio) was the first Ukrainian commercial bank to be acquired by an international financial group back in 2005. In 2007, SEB Group acquired a Kharkiv-based Factorial Bank, which was later merged into SEB Bank. SEB Group will continue to carry on banking business in Ukraine through a newly-acquired bank with a primary focus on international corporate clients. SEB Bank will be renamed shortly, while SEB Group will retain the brand SEB Bank for its new commercial bank in Ukraine.
The transaction documents for the acquisition of SEB Bank were signed on 17 November 2011. Following receipt of the regulatory approvals, the transaction was completed on 7 June 2012. Notably, the transaction involved, among other things, complicated interim management mechanics for SEB Bank between signing and closing of the transaction, flexible procedures for repayment of intra-group funding and transfer of international corporate clients to the new commercial bank of SEB Group in Ukraine.
The Baker & McKenzie team was led by Ihor Olekhov, a partner in the Kyiv office, with significant support from Oleksandr Svyryd, an associate in the Kyiv office. The English law support was provided by Gordon Low, a partner in the London office, and Robert Hewitt, an associate in the London office.
While commenting on the closing of the transaction, Ihor Olekhov noted: "We very pleased to assist our client on successful acquisition of SEB Bank from the leading Swedish financial group. The transaction involved a lot of challenges and very intensive negotiations on numerous aspects that required creativity, openness to unique ideas and unorthodox legal approaches. I am convinced that with its new investor and management, SEB Bank would quickly become a national champion in financial services."