Johan Steen

Partner, Stockholm


“Johan Steen is an absolute superstar. He is an incredibly commercial guy who is strategic and knows what it takes to get a deal done in a competitive environment.”
The Legal 500


Johan Steen is a Partner in White & Case's EMEA Private Equity Group where he focuses on advising financial investors (private equity) and corporates acquiring from financial investors in particular in connection with cross-border M&A.

He has also over the years advised on many equity restructuring matters (including distressed M&A) and represented several Nordic and international GPs (buy-out, real estate, venture, deal-by-deal funds) and LPs in connection with fundraisings.

Johan has lead teams advising on a large number of high-profile deals in the Nordic region in recent years.

Johan has, according to the leading M&A ranking institute Mergermarket, acted on more than 120+ deals worth more than USD55 billion, which is one of the highest deal values ever recorded by a Nordic private M&A lawyer.

In previous years he has, e.g., been ranked by Mergermarket:
#1 in private M&A deal value in Sweden;
#1 in cross-border M&A in Sweden by deal value and volume;
#1 in private equity deal volume in the Nordics; and
#6 in total deal volume in Europe.

Clients has described him as "the difference between making the deal and not making the deal." (Chambers)

Johan's transactional experience include, e.g. public-to-private buy-out transactions, corporate carve-outs, FIG M&A, Infrastructure M&A and Tech M&A, dual track exits, restructurings and distressed investing.

He has advised clients on cross-border M&A deals involving targets in e.g. Denmark, Norway, Finland, US, UK, Spain, Eastern Europe / Russia, Germany, France, China, India, Taiwan, Greece, Canada, South Korea, Japan, the Netherlands and Italy.

He has advised clients on M&A in sector like e.g. Automotive, Business Services (incl. e.g. consultancy, distribution, IT services etc.) , FIG, Industrials, Infrastructure & Transportation, Food & Beverage, Green Transition, Healthcare (incl. pharmaceutical, medical devices, medtech etc.), Consumer & Retail (incl. e-commerce, leisure etc.), Energy, Infrastructure and TMT.

His prior experience includes acting as associate general counsel for one of the major Nordic private equity houses, Altor Equity Partners, which has given him unique insights into the mindset and investment thought process of a leading private equity investor.

Johan has an MBA (with distinction) from London Business School. He is a member of the Swedish Bar Association.

Acknowledgements include:
"Leading Individual (Sweden) within Commercial, Corporate and M&A", Legal 500
"the difference between making the deal and not making the deal.", Chambers (2021)
"Sweden's best business lawyer", The Swedish Financial Gazette (Dagens Industri; 2017)
"Emerging Leader in the EMEA", The M&A Advisor (2017)
"One of thirty Under 40 private equity lawyers globally", the international subscription Private Fund Management." (2017)

Bars and Courts
Sweden, Advokat
MBA (With Distinction)
London Business School
Juris kandidat
University of Lund
MSSc, Master of Social Science in Business and Administration
University of Lund


Representative transactions include:

Representation of funds managed by Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division on their acquisition of Advania AB, a leading Nordic provider of IT services and products. The deal is one of the largest M&A deals in the Nordics in 2021.

Representation of Nomura, a global financial services firm and Barclays, a multinational investment bank and financial services company on their acquisition of Cevian Capital's entire stake in AB Volvo, the global leading truck manufacturer and the largest stock-listed entity in Sweden, and Nomura and Barclays later on-sale of the entire stake to Geely. The deal was the largest deal in Sweden 2017 and the largest ever exit by an activist fund globally.

Representation of Ingenico Group, the global leader in seamless payments, on its EUR 1.5 billion acquisition of Bambora, a fast-growing global player in the payments industry, from private equity firm Nordic Capital. The transaction was the 2nd largest transaction in Sweden in 2017.

Representation of Naspers, a global internet and entertainment group and one of the world's largest technology investors in connection with their USD 1.2 billion majority stake investment in Avito AB, one of the world's leading online classifieds companies, in 2015 and Naspers' subsequent USD1.16 billion buy-out of the remaining minority in 2019. The deal was the 2nd largest private M&A deal in Sweden in 2015 and the largest ever online deal in the Nordics and the 2nd largest private M&A deal in Sweden 2019.

Representation of the sellers in the sale of the Dellner Couplers Group, a leading supplier of complete train connections systems, to the EQT VIII fund. The deal was the 5th largest private M&A deal in Sweden 2019.

Representation of Bridgepoint, the leading European private equity house, on the SEK8.5 billion (US$930 million) disposal of the Nordic Cinema Group, the largest cinema operator in the Nordic region, to AMC Entertainment, the world's largest cinema operator. The deal was the 3rd largest deal in Sweden 2017.

Representation of Nalka, a Swedish investment firm, in the acquisition of OneMed (subsequently renamed to Asker), one of the leading medical supplies distributors in Europe, from 3i.

Representation of Altor, a family of private equity funds focused on investing and developing medium sized companies and one of Johan's repeat clients. He has acted for them on more than 20 successfully closed deals, including e.g. the following:

  • the growth investment in Svea Solar, one of Europe's fastest growing cleantech companies offering solutions for sustainable living including solar panel systems, batteries and electric car chargers;
  • representation of Altor and Trioworld, a leader within sustainable plastic film products, on the acquisition of Canadian / U.S.-based Malpack, a leading North American player in solutions for high-performance stretch film in the transit packaging segment, whereby a transatlantic powerhouse within stretch film was created (this is also one of the largest add-ons ever made by a Altor-owned portfolio company);
  • the acquisition of Thomas Cook Northern Europe (a.k.a. Vinggruppen; and subsequently to Nordic Leisure Travel Group) by a consortium consisting of Altor, Strawberry Equities (Petter Stordalen) and TDR;
  • the acquisition of Eleda, a provider of installation and contract services in the infrastructure sector, (including the add-on of JVAB) from management investors and the divestment of One Nordic, a producer and supplier of electricity, to Eleda whereby an infrastructure service provider with more than SEK 6bn in revenue was created;
  • the MEUR 275 divestment of Ålö, the global market leader in front loaders and associated implements for agricultural tractors, to Jost Werke;
  • the acquisition of Gummigrossen and RengasDuo, the market leading tire and tire related wholesalers in Sweden and Finland respectively; and
  • the acquisition of Carnegie Investment Bank, a leading independent Nordic Investment Bank and Max Matthiessen, a leading independent Swedish adviser within pension insurance, life insurance and long-term savings, from the Swedish National Debt Office.

Representation of FSN Capital, a leading Nordic private equity investor focused on middle market investments and another of Johan's repeat clients. He has acted for them on more than 20 successfully closed deals, including e.g. the following:

  • the acquisition of Adragos Pharma, a globally operating contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) headquartered in Germany;
  • the acquisition of Bygghemma, the leading Nordic online retailer of do-it-yourself products (DIY) and home furnishings, from Nordstjernan;
  • the acquisition of SneakersnStuff, a leading global online and physical retailer of limited edition sneakers; and
  • the acquisition of Holmbergs Safety Systems, a global supplier of mission critical safety systems to the child safety seat industry.

Representation of Patricia Industries, the private equity arm of Investor AB (publ), and its portfolio company Piab, a manufacturer of vacuum pumps and parts, in connection with Piab's acquisition of Tawi, a leading provider of complete light lifting solutions, from SEB Private Equity.

Representation of Hexatronic AB (publ), a global leader in fiber optic infrastructure and technology, and another of Johan's repeat clients. He has acted for them on 15 cross-border deals including e.g. the following:

  • the acquisition of the U.K. company Fibron from Rubicon Partners;
  • the acquisition of the U.S. company Rochester Cable;
  • the acquisitions of the South Korean company KNET;
  • the acquisition of the U.K. company Impact Data Solutions;
  • the acquisition of all telecom activities (asset transfer) of the Germany and Austria based company REHAU Group; and
  • the acquisition of Italian company Qubix S.p.A,

Representation of HgCapital Renewable Power Partners and its Swedish wind farm investment vehicle Vasa Vind in connection with APG's MEUR 300 acquisition and investment in the 288 MW Åskälen onshore wind power project, which at the time of the signing was the largest ever onshore wind renewable power project in Sweden.

Representation of EQT, the global leading alternative multi-asset class investment manager, in connection the on-shore reorganization of the EQT funds.

Awards and Recognition

The Legal 500 EMEA 2023 – Leading Individual – Commercial, Corporate and M&A, Sweden