Lawyers in our Prague office deliver bespoke legal and tax advisory services to Czech and international clients doing business in the Czech Republic, across Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), and in markets around the world.
Since 1991, our clients have relied on our advice on a wide range of Czech and cross-border legal and tax advisory issues in the Czech Republic. Our practice concentrates on complex corporate and financial transactions, as well as litigation and dispute resolution matters, which typically involve a strong international component. We help clients in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, private equity, leverage, corporate, project and asset finance, restructurings and insolvencies, debt and equity capital markets, energy and infrastructure, real estate, competition, anti-trust, IP/IT, tax and commercial law, litigation, arbitration, and criminal law. Our ability to bring to bear top-flight experience in all core areas of business law is of substantial commercial benefit to clients.
As one of the largest international law firms in Prague, we offer a significant degree of comfort and assurance to clients looking to realize investment opportunities or navigate complex challenges in the country and abroad. We have exceptional experience in advising foreign companies investing in the Czech Republic, and have advised on some of the largest investments in the country, representing international investors on their most significant projects.
Our Prague team is often the go-to advisor for clients operating within the most important sectors in the CEE region, including the financial, private equity, power/oil and gas, telecommunications, infrastructure, IT and real estate sectors. In this role, the Prague team has advised on numerous "firsts" on the Czech market and across the CEE region, including almost all financing and capital markets "firsts" in the country, as well as regularly advising on the largest transactions, year in and year out. Our lawyers have been involved in transactions in more than 25 countries in the last 12 months, including high-profile mandates in the following jurisdictions – Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Poland, Slovakia and Turkey.
White & Case is the only law firm on the Czech market with the local capability to offer Czech, English and US law experience on all types of transactions and financings, including senior, mezzanine and high-yield financings. We are perfectly positioned for multijurisdictional cross-border work, with Czech, English and US lawyers working seamlessly across practices and across our entire network.
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
"Law Firm of the Year" in the Czech Republic
International Financial Law Review (IFLR) Annual European Awards, 2014 and 2015
"International Law Firm of the Year" in the Czech Republic
Chambers Europe Awards for Excellence, 2014
Received the most Band 1 and individual lawyer rankings out of all law firms in the Czech Republic in
Chambers Europe and Chambers Global in 2014 and 2015
The only law firm in the Czech Republic to be ranked Tier 1 in all practice areas rated by both
The Legal 500 and IFLR 1000 in 2014
The only law firm in the Czech Republic occupying a leading ranking in the area of Tax in
Chambers, The Legal 500 and Tax Directors Handbook in 2014 and 2015
Czech Business Superbrands 2015
"CEE Legal Adviser of the Year"
Mergermarket European M&A Awards 2015
€1.16 billion sale of CGS Holding to Trelleborg
We advised the owners of ČGS Holding, a Czech Republic–based rubber conglomerate with leading positions in agricultural and speciality tires and engineered polymer solutions, in the sale of the company to Swedish industrial giant Trelleborg for approximately €1.16 billion.
PPF Group's €2.5 billion sale of its stake in Generali PPF Holding, 2013
We advised the PPF Group in relation to the €2.5 billion sale of its 49 percent stake in Generali PPF Holding to Generali. The deal involves the PPF Group acquiring Generali PPF Holding's insurance operations in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan for €80 million. The deal also included advising PPF Investments with respect to an asset swap with Italian insurer Generali. The deal will result in Generali taking control of a 38.46 percent stake in Russian insurer Ingosstrakh, with PPF Investments acquiring Generali's ownership (27.5 percent) in two private equity funds. Our advice included compliance and regulatory requirements in the CEE region.
€1.6 billion disposal of RWE AG's Czech Transmission Operator, 2013
We advised RWE AG in connection with the circa €1.6 billion sale of its 100 percent share in NET4GAS, s.r.o., the Czech transmission system operator, to a consortium of Allianz Capital Markets GmbH and Borealis Infrastructure Management Inc. Our advice included complex corporate and tax advice during the preparatory phase for the sale and our firm energy regulatory experts were also involved.
Restructuring of national airline, Czech Airlines (CSA), 2013
We advised and represented CSA in the European Commission proceedings on approval of the restructuring plan of CSA. We advised the client and the Czech Ministry of Finance on both the economic and legal issues of the state aid restructuring, in particular, drafting a restructuring plan and other submissions, and attending negotiations and meetings with the case team of the Commission. In addition, we have successfully defended CSA in proceedings before the Commission concerning whether a loan provided by state-owned entity constituted state aid incompatible with the internal market.
Advising one of the world's major players in the antivirus market, 2014
White & Case's M&A, financing, Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT), Intellectual Property and Tax teams advised Avast Software, one of the world's major players in the antivirus market, and a selling shareholder consortium on the sale of a significant minority stake to CVC Capital Partners, one of the world's leading private equity and investment advisory firms. Supporting the successful completion of the deal included advising on the new US borrower financing that supported CVC's acquisition of its interest in Avast, which values the Prague-based business at around US$1 billion. Our team also provided complex cross-border tax advice in respect to Czech, US and Dutch tax aspects, including the structuring of the transaction, employee stock-based compensation, implementation of the transaction structure in the transaction documents, and assistance with negotiations.
€2.288 billion acquisition financing of Telefonica O2 Czech Republic, 2013
A multi-practice team, led by our banking team represented Société Générale as coordinating mandated lead arranger and then Citibank Europe plc, Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Ceskoslovenská obchodní banka, a.s., Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch, ING Bank N.V., The Royal Bank of Scotland plc and UniCredit Bank Austria AG as further mandated lead arrangers in connection with the financing of the acquisition by PPF Group of Telefonica O2 Czech Republic, the leading mobile, fixed-line and IPTV operator in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The total amount of the financing was €2.288 billion. The Telefonica O2 transaction was in many ways the first transaction of this kind in the Czech Republic.
Largest and most complex cross-border transaction ever arranged by a Czech bank on the Czech market, 2013
We advised a consortium of eleven banks, led by UniCredit, in connection with the €1 billion financing of EP Energy, a subsidiary of Energeticky a prumyslovy holding and the largest Czech private energy group with activities in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany and Poland. This was the single largest committed banking deal ever for a Czech corporate borrower in Czech history. This landmark transaction exclusively tapped the domestic loan market and changed the perception of the liquidity available thereon. The deal was by far the largest and most complex cross-border transaction ever arranged by a Czech bank on the Czech market. The mandate included a complex multijurisdictional security package, including documents governed by Czech, German, Dutch, Cypriot and Slovak law, and securing both the claims of the lenders under the bank financing and in relation to the bonds.
First ever balance sheet restructuring via an English law scheme of arrangement in CEE, 2014
We acted for New World Resources N.V. ("NWR NV") in relation to its international restructuring by means of an English law scheme of arrangement, and New World Resources Plc (NWR NV's listed parent, "NWR Plc") in relation to its related €118 million rights issue and €32 million privateplacement. The restructuring entailed the cancellation of NWR NV's existing €500 million Senior Secured Notes due 2018 (the "2018 Notes") and its €275 million Senior Notes due 2021 (the "2021 Notes") in exchange for consideration including €300 million Senior Secured PIK Toggle Notes, €150 million Convertible PIK Toggle Notes, and €35 million Contingent Value Rights (each of which were admitted for listing on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange), along with the right to provide commitments under a new €35 million Super Senior Facility and the rights issue and private placing of NWR Plc's shares.
Largest ever direct real estate investment in the Czech Republic, 2014
We represented the TPG Capital and Ivanhoe Cambridge portfolio company PointPark Properties (P3), owner, developer and manager of European logistics properties, in the €523 million purchase of Czech logistics portfolio from two funds advised by Tristan Capital Partners and VGP. The acquisition is one of the largest single logistics transactions by value in Europe of the past ten years and the largest ever in the Czech Republic. The acquisition is backed by a refinancing and development facilities provided by a club of banks arranged by Ceskoslovenska obchodni banka, Komercni Banka and Ceska sporitelna. The terms of the financing include classic LBO-market borrower protections, a first for a Czech real estate financing deal.
Recapitalization and acquisition of Bulgarian Telecommunications Company AD, 2012/2013
We represented VTB Capital plc and Corporate Commercial Bank AD in a landmark transaction on all stages of a €766 million debt restructuring, recapitalization and acquisition of Bulgarian Telecommunications Company AD and certain of its affiliates through an English Law scheme of arrangement followed by the refinancing of the restructured debt from the proceeds from the issuance of high-yield notes and a bridge to equity senior financing closed simultaneously with the issuance of the notes. This is the first scheme of arrangement implemented in the CEE region. The deal was by far the largest and most complex cross-border financial restructuring ever arranged in the CEE region. The deal also involved the first-ever enforcement of financial collateral in Bulgaria.
Breakthrough in capital markets financing in Czech Republic, 2012/2014
We represented Raiffeisenbank a.s. as issuer in connection with the establishment of its €5 billion Covered Bonds Programme and the issue of €500 million floating rate covered bonds due 2017 under the programme. It was the first-ever issue of covered bonds issued by a Czech bank that are eligible as collateral for the European Central Bank. We have subsequently represented the client in connection with the update of the programme and the issue of €500 million fixed rate covered bonds due 2019 under the programme. Both issues have been listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.