AVELLUM is on the summit of international capital markets work, operating on landmark sovereign debt instructions, corporate issuance and restructuring mandates. The team continued to act as Ukrainian legal counsel to the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine on the issue of EUR 1 billion and USD 350 million Eurobonds by the State of Ukraine. The team is regularly instructed by significant domestic corporates, having represented Metinvest B.V., DTEK Renewables, Kernel Holding S.A., MHP Lux S.A. on their Eurobonds offering in 2019. The recent work for lead managers is exemplified by the USD 100 million subordinated Eurobond offering by the State Export-Import Bank of Ukraine (Ukreximbank) and EUR 600 million and USD 335 million Eurobond offering by Naftogaz of Ukraine. Senior partner Glib Bondar is known for deep involvement in practice and hands-on experience.
Sayenko Kharenko is a highly-recognized legal practice handling capital markets work in the corporate and public sectors. The team regularly advises the world’s top-tier investment banks on the most high-value and complex transactions. In 2019 the team acted as Ukrainian legal counsel to BNP Paribas and Goldman Sachs International, the joint lead managers of the new benchmark EUR 1 billion Eurobond issue by Ukraine; advised J.P. Morgan and Dragon Capital, the joint lead managers of a USD 500 million Eurobond issue by Ukrainian railway operator PJSC Ukrzaliznytsia. The landmark project was representation of Raiffeisen Bank International and Renaissance Capital, joint lead managers of the EUR 325 million Eurobond issue by DTEK Renewables. Acting on the borrower side, the team advised The State Export-Import Bank of Ukraine on its USD 100 million subordinated Eurobond issue. The sizeable team has three partners on board, each with a particular focus. Anton Korobeynikov leads transactions involving banking bonds. Igor Lozenko, who was promoted to partner in early 2020, took the lead role in the majority of corporate bond issues. The highly-regarded and experienced Nazar Chernyavsky has focused on sovereign Eurobonds.
Baker McKenzie houses an experienced international capital markets practice, particularly seen in representation of issuers. In 2019 the firm advised Aragvi Finance International DAC, a member of the Transoil group, a dominant agriculture player in Moldova, on a Eurobonds issue of up to USD 300 million. Another area of recent focus covered regulatory advice. Serhiy Chorny, managing partner, who heads the banking and finance and capital markets practice groups, leads projects.
In 2019 AEQUO joined the list of Ukrainian law firms advising on international capital markets transactions. The firm acted as Ukrainian law counsel to Naftogaz of Ukraine on its EUR 600 million and USD 335 million Eurobonds issues; and subsequent USD 500 million Eurobonds issue — tapping the US investor base. The practice is led by banking and finance partner Yulia Kyrpa, with the involvement of counsel Bogdan Dmukhovskyy.
Asters, the largest Ukrainian law firm, is enlisted to represent domestic issuers on their borrowings on international debt capital markets, and is also involved in subsequent restructuring mandates. In 2019 the team acted as Ukrainian legal counsel to rail operator PJSC Ukrzaliznytsia in connection with a USD 500 million Eurobonds offering and USD 100 million tap issuance. Senior partner Armen Khachaturyan has been in charge of the practice for many years.
DLA Piper enters the rankings backed by the capital projects work the firm has been doing this past year. The firm has advised VFU Funding PLC on its debut USD 500 million loan participation notes on Euronext Dublin. In addition, the firm advised Citibank N.A. New York in connection with the subsequent issue of nine series of Global Depositary Notes listed on the Euronext Exchange pursuant to the Global Depositary Note Program which are backed by Ukrainian Hryvnia-denominated sovereign notes issued by Ukraine represented by the Minister of Finance acting to an aggregate principal amount of UAH 54.9 billion. Other capital markets mandates include transactional work on a green bond issuance to fund the construction of a renewables facility in Ukraine. Dmytro Pshenychniuk, legal director, is in charge of capital markets workflow in Kyiv.
Dentons is a point of choice for complex cross-border legal capital markets issues, often preferred by financial institutions and banks. Given its liability management expertise and well-established international standing, the firm advised Chris Iacovides and Andri Antoniou of CRI Group as joint liquidators of Mriya Agro Holding in respect of its debt restructuring, including an exchange offer for USD 650 million in Eurobonds and the issuance of USD 208 million of new Eurobonds, EUR 761.5 million in face amount of recovery certificates, and equity. The firm advises the EBRD on legal and regulatory reform on trading infrastructure and provided local and international legal support to the capital market’s development and reform efforts of the NSSMC and the Government of Ukraine. Natalia Selyakova is the lead partner.
INTERNATIONAL LAW FIRMS
Allen & Overy is active in capital markets and significant restructuring mandates. In 2019 the firm acted as the English law counsel to Metinvest in connection with the dual tranche USD 500 million/EUR 300 million issue of senior notes. The team was led by London-based partners Jeanette Cruz and Jamie Durham.
Dechert is a vivid legal advisor for capital market transactions in emerging markets. The team, as led by London-based partner Patrick Lyons, acted as English law counsel to PJSC Ukrzaliznytsia on its Eurobond offerings in 2019.
The Magic Circle firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is a vivid international legal counsel in debt capital markets transactions involving Ukrainian borrowers. In a recent highlight the firm was preferred by large issuers. For example, the team guided by partner Dr. Stephan Pachinger acted as English and United States law counsel to Naftogaz on its Eurobond issues in 2019. Another representation was to MHP on USD 350 million Eurobond issue.
In 2019 Latham & Watkins extended its presence in advising significant debt capital markets transactions, including both sovereign and corporate issuances. The firm predominantly acts for international lenders. For example, the firm acted as English and US legal counsel to BNP Paribas and Goldman Sachs in the issue of EUR-denominated notes by Ukraine; acted as English law counsel to lead managers on Eurobond offerings by PJSC Ukrzaliznytsia. The team, led by Moscow partner David Stewart and London partner Lene Malthasen, advised the joint lead managers on Ukreximbank’s USD 100 million subordinated Eurobond issue. Another highlight was when the firm acted for the issuer gave on support to DTEK Renewables on its EUR 325 million debut green bond issue.
Linklaters has exceptionally well-established connections and a dedicated, experienced team advising access to international financial markets. The team, as led by London-based partners Richard O’Callaghan and Cecil Quillen, advised Raiffeisen Bank International and Renaissance Capital on the issuance of EUR 325 million green bonds by DTEK Renewables Finance B.V. Other highlights included acting as US and English legal counsel to lead managers in a debut issue of secured notes by Aragvi Finance International DAC, a member of the Transoil group; acting as English, US and Dutch legal counsel to Deutsche Bank, Natixis and UniCredit on a dual-currency Eurobond issue by Metinvest. Examples of representing borrowers was the USD 300 million Eurobond issue by Kernel Holding S.A.
White & Case is a central legal counsel for sovereign Eurobonds issues and subsequent restructurings. The firm has acted for the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine for many years. In 2019 the practice team acted as English and US legal counsel in the EUR 1 billion issue of EUR-denominated notes by Ukraine and the USD 350 million tap issue. Another highlight is acting as English legal counsel to Ukreximbank on the issue of subordinated loan participation notes. London-based partners Ian Clark and Stuart Matty are known for their capital markets work.
Please see Table 1 for more information about international law firms involved in capital markets transactions.