Natalia Nikitina | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice

Natalia Nikitina

Partner, Moscow

T +7 495 787 3027

T +7 495 787 3000

E nnikitina@whitecase.com

“Natalia Nikitina is very thorough, highly effective, and a real pleasure to work with.”

Chambers Europe

Overview

Natalia Nikitina advises on a wide range of finance transactions, including traditional commercial lending and structured and acquisition finance, as well as asset-based financings and project and pre-export finance.

With 15 years of on-the-ground experience in Russia, Natalia is able to offer her clients particular insight into the nuances specific to this market. She has also been the driving force behind a number of first-of-their-kind and award-winning deals, and her clients describe her as a "hands-on, commercial and client focused" professional. (Chambers Global, 2015)

Natalia regularly works with a wide range of participants active in the Russian market, who benefit from her commitment to finding made-to-measure fixes, and she seeks innovative ways to secure her clients' interests. In addition to her transactional work, Natalia is also a leading figure in numerous important legislative projects, including the pledge law reform and standardized Russian loan agreements for syndicated lending.

She has worked on many of the major deals in Russia and the CIS, where her experience and knowledge helps her clients to proceed confidently with their transactions. She was instrumental in a power plant financing deal which has been described as "creating a Russian project finance template" (Trade Finance Magazine).

Natalia is also highly respected in the transportation sector, having earned recommendations from both clients and legal benchmark publications. She was recently appointed as the Coordinator of the Russian National Contact Group to the prestigious Aviation Working Group's Legal Advisory Panel in recognition of her work with the Russian Federation's ratification of the Cape Town Convention and her dedication to the development of the aviation sector in Russia. She has advised on a vast number of aviation finance and leasing transactions, including the first export credit financing of the Sukhoi Superjet aircraft, which paved its way to the western market.

Bars and Courts

  • Qualified to practice law in the Russian Federation

Education

  • JD, Moscow State Institute of International Relations
  • LLB, College of Management and Law

Languages

  • English
  • French
  • Russian

Experience

Banking and Finance:
Major mining LBO

Natalia advised a leading Russian bank as lender under a US$2 billion loan facility utilized for a leveraged buy-out of a major Russian steel group. This was the largest LBO in Russia in 2013, with an acquisition price more than US$4 billion.

Credit Bank of Moscow

She advised the Credit Bank of Moscow on a US$500 million loan – the bank's largest financing to date – from a syndicate of more than 15 international and Russian banks.

Summa Group

She represented Russian investment and trading group Summa on the multi-stage acquisition of a stake in Far Eastern Shipping Company (FESCO) and related acquisition financing obtained from a syndicate of international banks. The financing structure involved a US$800 million senior loan from a syndicate of foreign and Russian banks, as well as a US$150 million financing structured in the form of a REPO. This was the largest LBO in Russia in 2012.

ING Bank

Natalia advised on a RUB1.2 billion secured club loan provided by ING Bank N.V. and Sberbank to Russian World Studios, a Russian film production company, a loan secured against its own library of video content. At the time of closing, this was an unprecedented transaction for the Russian corporate credit market, since it was the first time in the history of the Russian media industry that a loan was granted with a library of video content as security.

Project Finance:
Rusvinyl

Natalia advised RusVinyl and the sponsors, SIBUR Holding and SolVin GmBH & Co KG, on the €750 million project financing of a 330,000 tonnes pa provinyl chloride (PVC) plant in Kstovo, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, which has been described as "creating a Russian project finance template" by Trade Finance Magazine and was named "European Petrochemical Deal of the Year" by Project Finance and Project Finance International (2011).

Credit Suisse

Natalia represented Credit Suisse as coordinator and mandated lead arranger on a US$675 million project financing to Rosneftbunker in connection with the construction and development of an oil product terminal in the Ust-Luga port, located along the Gulf of Finland. The terminal, wholly owned by Gunvor Group, is expected to become one of the world's largest oil product terminals that transports cargo by rail.

Power plant financing

She advised on the export financings for the construction of a power plant in Kurgan, including a EUR term loan from CEB (a government-owned bank in the Czech Republic) which benefited from an EGAP-insurance policy. The deal has been described as "creating a Russian project finance template" by Trade Finance Magazine and was named "European Petrochemical Deal of the Year" by Project Finance and Project Finance International (2011).

Asset Finance:
Avia Capital Services

Natalia represented Avia Capital Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Russian Technologies State Corporation, in the acquisition, export credit finance and leasing to Russian airlines of 50 new Boeing 737 aircraft.

Sukhoi Superjet

She advised leading global financial institutions, Vnesheconombank (VEB) and Natixis as lead arrangers and lenders in connection with the export credit financing (COFACE and SACE) and parallel financing by VEB for nine Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft to Interjet, a Mexican airline. This was the first export credit financing of the Sukhoi Superjet aircraft.

Publications

  • Lending & Secured Finance 2014: A practical cross-border insight into lending and secured finance, The International Comparative Legal Guide, Chapter 53 – Russia, April 2014, (co-author)

Awards & Recognition

Banking & Finance in Russia, Chambers, 2015 and Legal 500, 2015

Shipping and Transport, Legal 500, 2015

Chambers Global, 2015

Clients describe Natalia as "hands-on, commercial and client focused."

Legal 500, 2014

Natalia Nikitina is praised for her "ability to find solutions in complicated structural deals."

One of Russia's Best Lawyers 2013: Project Finance, Vedomosti

Aviation Finance Lawyers, Who's Who Legal, 2016 edition