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24 February 2012

Sayenko Kharenko – legal counsel on one of the largest M&A transactions in European banking sector

Sayenko Kharenko acted as a Ukrainian legal counsel to Sberbank of Russia (“Sberbank”) on the Ukrainian law aspects of the Euro 500 mln acquisition of 100% of Volksbank International AG (“VBI”) – a holding company controlling banking institutions in more than 10 European jurisdictions, including Ukraine.

Sberbank is the largest bank in Russia with 17 regional head offices and more than 19,000 outlets as well as subsidiary banks in Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Belarus, a branch in India, and representative offices in Germany and China.

VBI (excluding VB Romania) has 295 branches. VBI’s subsidiaries are within the top 10 financial institutions (by total assets) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia, and within the top 15 financial institutions (by total assets) in Hungary, Serbia and Slovenia. It also has a presence in Ukraine and holds a banking license in Austria.

This landmark transaction represents Sberbank’s first major acquisition outside the CIS and is the latest step in its transformation from a large domestic financial institution to a leading international bank. Moreover, it is one of the biggest transactions in the CEE region in 2011/12 and one of the rare bank acquisitions these days.

Sayenko Kharenko’s advice included the legal due diligence of PJSC “Volksbank”, pre-closing support, including advising on a number of corporate and regulatory issues, obtaining the merger clearance with the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine, the approval of the National Bank of Ukraine and clarification from the National Securities and Stock Market Commission, as well as post-closing support.

Sayenko Kharenko has outstanding expertise in advising on cross-border M&A deals in the banking sector. In the past 5 years Sayenko Kharenko acted on a number of high-profile transactions involving the sale and acquisition of Ukraine’s largest banks, including advising: on the merger of Alpha Bank with Eurobank (M&A Deal of the Year (nominated) by IFLR European Awards 2012); First Ukrainian International Bank (SCM Group) on acquisition of 100% of Renaissance Capital Bank; Commerzbank on acquisition of Bank Forum; Alpha Bank on acquisition of Astra Bank; Piraeus Bank on acquisition of International Commerce Bank; KIT Finance Investment Bank on acquisition of Radabank.

Sayenko Kharenko team for the current transaction was led by partner Vladimir Sayenko and included counsels Vitaly Kravchenko and Dmitry Taranyk, associates Sergiy Kazmirchuk, Maksym Nazarenko, Kateryna Zhebanova  and Oleksandr Nikolaichyk.

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