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 "brilliant negotiator." (Chambers Global, 2017) She has also been mentioned in The Best Lawyers in Russia 2018 Edition in Asset Finance Law, Banking and Finance Law, and Project Finance and Development Practice.
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 an Executive Member of 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
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)
Mentioned in Banking & Finance in Russia: Chambers Global, 2019 and Legal 500, 2018
Natalia Nikitina "always has good control over the matters, an excellent understanding of the market and helps navigating through complex matters." Chambers Global, 2019
Leading Individual in Transport sector in Russia: Legal 500, 2018
Mentioned in The Best Lawyers in Russia (2018 Edition) for Asset Finance Law, Banking and Finance Law, Corporate Law, and Project Finance and Development Practice
Appointed Executive Committee Member of the Legal Advisory Panel of Aviation Working Group (AWG)