Michael Foundethakis acted as the global chair of Baker McKenzie’s Banking & Finance Practice Group from May 2017 to July 2020. He currently heads Banking & Finance in Paris and continues to act as global head of Project and Trade & Export Finance for the firm. 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 Award 2011 in Banking for Germany and again winner of the same award in 2017 in Banking for France. A team led by Michael Foundethakis was awarded Banking, Finance & Restructuring Team of the Year at The African Legal Awards 2015.
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), structured trade finance (including ECA-backed export finance), acquisition finance, FI Lending, 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 Société Générale, BNP Paribas and Black Sea Trade and Development Bank in relation to a SERV covered facility agreement and to related loans amounting to circa. €318,000,000 to the Istanbul Metropolitan Authority to support a waste to energy project (awarded as a "Deal of the Year” in Global Trade Review's Awards 2020 and "Environmental Enhancement ECA-Backed Deal of the Year" at the TXF awards 2020).
- Acting for Crédit Agricole, Standard Chartered Bank, MUFG Bank Limited and UKEF (the ECA of the United Kingdom) with respect to three facilities amounting to an aggregate amount of circa $655,000,000 financing to the Ministry of Finance of Oman in order to finance the export of equipment required to construct three hospitals in Oman (awarded as a "Deal of the Year” in Global Trade Review's Awards 2020)
- Acting for BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, Crédit Industriel et Commercial and ING in relation to a circa. $470,000,000 SACE covered loan facility agreement to The Egyptian Electricity Holding Company to support the import of equipment from General Electric and Orascom to complete the conversion two power stations (Assuit and West Damietta) guaranteed by the Ministry of Finance of Egypt (awarded "Deal of the Year – EMEA Export Finance: Power” in Euromoney's Trade Finance Awards 2017).
- 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 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
- International Chamber of Commerce - Member
- Paris~France (2019)
- Republic of Ireland (2019)
- England & Wales~United Kingdom (1995)
- 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)
Baker & McKenzie A.A.R.P.I. is a member of Baker and McKenzie International.