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Freshfields Advises Global Ports on $1.6bn Russian Deal

FreshfieldsLawfuel.com – Law Newswire Service – International law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has advised London-listed Global Ports on its $1.6bn acquisition of Russia’s National Container Company. The deal unites Russia’s two biggest container operators.

Global Ports, Russia’s market leader, will give NCC’s owners – Russia’s First Quantum group and businessman Andrei Kobzar – $291m in cash and an 18 per cent stake in the merged group. Global Ports will assume NCC’s debt of $916m.

It will also give Global Ports control over St Petersburg’s First Container Terminal and the Ust-Luga terminal near the Gulf of Finland. The enlarged group will also have the option to acquire 50 per cent of Illichevsk Container Terminal in Ukraine from NCC’s owners for $60m within three years of the merger’s completion. The transaction is expected to be finalised in three to six months.

Freshfields corporate partner Sebastian Lawson and senior associate Sean Huber in Moscow led the Freshfields team supported by Sarah Murphy in London and Thomas Wessely in Brussels.

Sebastian Lawson said, ‘Russia’s expanding middle class and increasing reliance on containers for transport have contributed to the Russian container market growing at one of the fastest rates worldwide. Despite the challenging outlook for the global container industry, Russia’s shipping sector continues to offer strong growth opportunities.’

This deal underlines Freshfields’ experience in the shipping sector. The firm previously advised Global Ports Investments on its successful offering and listing on the London Stock Exchange.

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Edwin Reeser Lawfuel.com

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