White & Case and one of its local partner firms scooped up three "Law Firm of the Year" awards and one "Deal of the Year" award at the International Financial Law Review Europe 2011 awards on March 23, 2011. IFLR's annual awards are based on broad research by its staff including extensive interviews with clients and practicing lawyers, with particular attention given to legal innovation in cross-border transactions.
The merger of Unimilk and Danone, on which White & Case advised Unimilk and its shareholders, was named "M&A Deal of the Year", and was noted by IFLR for its precedent-setting significance for Russian and Ukraine antitrust administrative practices.
In addition, White & Case's Helsinki and Stockholm offices were named "Law Firm of the Year" in Finland and Sweden, respectively. Some of the work that supported these wins includes advising UPM-Kymmene Corporation on its proposed acquisition of Myllykoski Group and Rhein Papier (Helsinki); representing Talvivaara Mining Company Plc on its €225 million initially cash-settling convertible bond offering, the first of its kind by a Finnish publicly traded company (Helsinki); advising Nordea on the financing of the SEK 2 billion private equity purchase and related target refinancing of AcadeMedia's existing financial indebtedness (Stockholm); and acting for Nordic Capital company Cidron Intressenter AB in its successful public tender offer for all shares in Munters AB (publ) with a total offer value of SEK 5.693 billion (€615 million) (Stockholm).
Finally, Akol Law Offices, one of White & Case's two affiliate firms in Turkey for local law advice, was named "Law Firm of the Year" in Turkey. In the last year, combined White & Case and Akol teams have advised: Yüksel İnşaat A.Ş. on its high yield offering of US$200 million 9.50% Senior Notes due 2015, the country's first direct high-yield offering; Emlak REIT, Turkey's largest real estate investment trust in terms of portfolio value, in its €539 million initial public offering, the fifth largest IPO in Turkey to date; DO & CO Restaurants & Catering in its €69 million offering and the secondary listing of its stock on the Istanbul Stock Exchange, the first secondary listing in Turkey by an issuer listed abroad; Colakoglu Group in the merger of Turk Ekonomi Bankası A.S. (TEB) and Fortis Bank A.S. with an approximate deal value of US$2.9 billion, creating the sixth biggest bank in Turkey; and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentina on the purchase of 24.9% of Turkey's leading bank, Turkiye Garanti Bankasi AS, for €4.2 billion, the largest-ever Turkish private sector M&A transaction.
In addition to these victories, White & Case was also short-listed for its work on the restructurings of Almatis, BTA Bank and Wind Hellas, the Yüksel İnşaat high yield bond and the Nord Stream II project financing.
White & Case has had offices in Turkey since 1985 and has worked for Turkish clients since 1978. Through its two offices in Istanbul and Ankara, the Firm represents key market players, including investors, lenders, government entities and others in M&A and joint ventures, capital markets, private equity, privatization, infrastructure and project finance and banking transactions in Turkey and in the region.
The White & Case Helsinki office was opened in 1992 and today has almost 30 lawyers advising Finnish and international clients on a broad range of M&A, capital markets, and bank finance transactions. In addition to these core practice areas, the Helsinki office also advises clients on financial restructuring and insolvency, real estate and competition/EU law.
Established in 1983, White & Case's Stockholm office offers clients substantial experience in complex issues of Swedish law and regulation and the resources of a leading global law firm. The team of 45 lawyers practice all aspects of Swedish law and represent clients in arbitrations and in Swedish courts. Key practice areas include mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, banking, securities and capital markets and dispute resolution.