White & Case Advises on Transformation of Olympia Group
Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised the Olympia Group on its transformation from a family-backed corporate group to a fully regulated, transparent, professionally managed global corporation with best-in-class corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, management incentivisation and shareholding structure.
"We have advised the Olympia Group on this groundbreaking transformation," said London-based White & Case partner Prabhu Narasimhan, who together with London partner Ian Bagshaw led the cross-practice White & Case team which has substantial experience in the structuring and restructuring of multi-billion family offices. "Olympia Group '2.0' is truly remarkable – the decision by the ultimate shareholders to restrict themselves to economic ownership, and to divest complete operational control of underlying businesses to professional management, means the group is more streamlined in its execution of acquisitions, disposals and debt and equity fund raising and is perceived on an equal footing with investment/private equity funds and multinational corporations."
George Xirouchakis, General Counsel of the Olympia Group, said: "The main objectives are to professionalise the group for long-term management, put in place robust compliance and risk management processes and ring-fence underlying assets and business for the benefit of future generations, We are delighted that we had White & Case by our side given their deep understanding and experience of similar transactions for family offices and businesses."
Key features of this transformation are the streamlining of the group into appropriate operating divisions in line with best practices and adapting the private equity and fund industry model to create a regulated fund in Europe to act as the holding vehicle of underlying businesses and investments. A particularly important aspect was the allocation of a proportion of the shareholding by the ultimate shareholders to a charitable foundation being established by the shareholders to undertake a wide range of charitable activities across Europe.
Olympia Group is held by Folloe Fund, which has obtained approval from the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission as an AIF, and is ultimately owned by the next generation of the Germanos family together with a charitable foundation and John Karagiannis and Kostas Karafotakis. The group is a multi-faceted multi-billion conglomerate with financially successful investments across Europe in a range of industries including retail, telecoms, manufacturing, consumer lending and Fintech.
The White & Case team which in London advised on the transaction was co-led by partners Prabhu Narasimhan and Ian Bagshaw and included partners Peita Menon and Nicholas Greenacre, with support from associates Laura Hoyland, David Lancaster, Nicole Vella, Jamal Tuhin, Philip Vavalidis and Andriea Vamadevan.
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