Press Release
Press Release

White & Case Advises Kaupthing on US$448 Million Sell Down in Arion Bank

Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised Kaupthing ehf (Kaupthing) on the US$448.2 million (around ISK49 billion) private placement of 582,922,113 ordinary shares in Arion Bank by Kaupskil ehf., a subsidiary of Kaupthing, to Goldman Sachs International (through a wholly owned subsidiary) and funds managed by Attestor Capital, Och-Ziff Capital Management Group and Taconic Capital Advisors.

The transaction reduces Kaupthing's interest in Arion Bank, a leading privately-owned universal relationship bank in Iceland, to 57.9 percent of its issued share capital. It represents the largest ever equity portfolio investment in Icelandic history, and occurred immediately after the lifting of capital controls in Iceland.

"We advised Kaupthing on this important transaction involving the partial sale of its stake in its most prominent portfolio asset," said London-based White & Case partner Richard Pogrel. "The lifting of the capital controls represents a key further step forward for Iceland and its economy. This deal is another landmark transaction in the country, the first foreign investment following the removal of the controls and the largest foreign private equity portfolio investment in Iceland's history."

The proceeds from the transaction will be used towards prepayment of the ISK84 billion secured note held by the Icelandic Treasury, as part of Kaupthing's stability contribution agreed upon its composition (restructuring) completed at the end of 2015.

White & Case previously advised Kaupthing on its landmark restructuring. The failure of Kaupthing Bank hf. in 2008 was one of the largest ever bank insolvencies, with liabilities of more than US$45 billion and creditors in more than 100 countries.

The White & Case team in London which advised on the transaction included partners Richard Pogrel, Inigo Esteve and Laura Sizemore and associate Bob Lehner.

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