Restructuring and insolvency in Greece

Bernitsas Law

Bernitsas Law is renowned for its sizeable and highly experienced team which frequently assists clients with significant cross-border restructurings and acts for official receivers in liquidation proceedings. Notable work includes acting for Thomas Cook Group Tour Operations Limited on the sale of its shares in its English subsidiary following liquidation. PIMCO entrusted the firm with the securitisation of PPC receivables, pertaining to a portfolio amount of €1.7bn, in relation to outstanding electricity invoices. Lambros Belessis is well known for his expertise within M&As and corporate restructurings. He co-heads the practice with Athanasia Tsene who is well versed in advising on security and hedging arrangements. Other notable contacts include counsel Dionysis Flambouras.

Practice head(s):

Lambros Belessis; Athanasia Tsene

Other key lawyers:

Panayotis Bernitsas; Evi Kitsou; Nikos Papachristopoulos; Yannis Seiradakis; Linda Vasaka; Dionysis Flambouras

Testimonials

‘A strong team for restructuring and M&A, with high competence and knowledge in the sector.’

‘Lambros Belessis and Evi Kitsou undertsand the needs of the client and help the client to reach the goal.’

Key clients

Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc.

Apollo Capital Management LLC – Lapithus Group

CPPIB

Eurobank Ergasias

Ellington Funds

Hellenic Petroleum SA

Hoist Hellas SA and Hoist Finance (publ) AB

Intrum AB

Piraeus Bank

PIMCO

The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund

Thomas Cook Group Tour Operations Limited

The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund

Thea Artemis SA

Work highlights

  • Advised PIMCO in connection with the securitisation of PPC receivables, the Zeus portfolio, under electricity invoices that have been outstanding for more than 90 days.
  • Advised Thomas Cook Group Tour Operations Limited on the sale of its shares in its English subsidiary, Westfort Capital Limited, to the other shareholders, in addition to advisory on the settlement of certain payment obligations of LMEY Investments AG towards TCGTO.
  • Advised a retail company on the restructuring of its local business in Greece which consisted of the transfer of the wholesale and retail business to a local entrepreneur.

Koutalidis Law Firm

Koutalidis Law Firm is best known for its ‘transaction-orientated and pragmatic advice and solutions‘, acting for debtors, lenders and investors on domestic and international matters. The group’s expertise covers a breadth of services, including debt restructuring proceedings, private refinancing and rescheduling schemes, with matters coming from a range of sectors, including the mining and metals, healthcare and food sectors. In recent work, the practice acted for the four Greek systemic banks, overseeing the corporate reorganisation and debt restructuring of creditors Sidma and Bitros. Nikos Koritsas, Ioannis Kaptanis and Effie Papoutsi lead the practice. Chrysanthi Karlou is also noted, especially because of her assistance to Alpha Bank during its hive-down process.

Practice head(s):

Nikos Koritsas; Ioannis Kaptanis; Effie Papoutsi

Other key lawyers:

Chrysanthi Karlou; Dimitris Kalyvas

Testimonials

‘Strong experience.’

Key clients

Alpha Bank

Piraeus Bank

Eurobank

National Bank of Greece

Citigroup Global Markets Limited

Goldman Sachs International Bank

J.P. Morgan Securities plc

J.P. Morgan Europe Limited

Merrill Lynch International

Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc.

Barclays Bank plc

Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft

Nomura International plc.

Société Générale

Credit Suisse

HSBC France

HSBC Bank plc

GMR Group Limited

Aktor Concessions S.A.

Fraport Greece

Euroxx Securities S.A.

ABN AMRO Bank N.V.

ING Bank N.V.

Aegean Motorway S.A.

Work highlights

  • Advised all four Greek systemic banks, as the largest creditors of Sidma and Bitros, on the corporate reorganisation and debt restructuring of both companies.
  • Advised lenders, including ABN AMRO Bank N.V., Cooperative Rabobank U.A and ING Bank N.V, on the transfer of the shrimp business of the Dutch Seafood Company B.V. and the carve-out of the ‘Klaas Puul’ entities.  
  • Advised Alpha Bank in relation to its corporate restructuring, resulting in the hive- down of its banking business to a new wholly owned subsidiary.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright advises major global financial institutions on a wide array of matters, with particular emphasis placed on restructurings. The group’s experience includes the restructuring of existing loans, issuance of new loans, debt and equity swaps, public tender offers and delistings. With its wide-ranging sector expertise, the group fields a versatile practice, including matters from the shipping, energy and real estate sectors. In addition to its restructuring practice, the team also acts on insolvency matters, regularly overseeing reorganisations, special liquidations, creditor plans, bankruptcy and COMI. Athens and London-based Yianni Cheilas heads the practice and has extensive experience in representing lenders in restructurings, work-out arrangements and monitoring complex loans.

Practice head(s):

Yianni Cheilas

Other key lawyers:

Vassilis Koroxenidis; Dimitris Rampos; Georgios Palogos

Work highlights

    Platis – Anastassiadis & Associates Law Partnership

    Platis – Anastassiadis & Associates Law Partnership has a ‘dedicated, ambitious and highly motivated team‘ that advises on common and special insolvency and bankruptcy procedures in addition to acting on special administration and special liquidation procedures. The practice has experience in acting as liquidator, providing commercial, corporate and financial advice on the restructuring and disposal of assets of a company. The group is further sought after in matters regarding the restructuring of the legislative framework for insolvency practitioners. Eirinikos Platis and senior manager Vassileios Mavrommatis head the practice.

    Practice head(s):

    Eirinikos Platis; Vassileios Mavrommatis

    Other key lawyers:

    Evangelia Nikolopoulou; Paola Mammou

    Testimonials

    ‘The team exhibited great flexibility in order for the deal to be accomplished. Moreover, it came out that the team had a very thorough knowledge of the case and responded instantly to our requests and needs.’

    ‘Paola Mammou was very efficient, hard-working, willing to assist us with everything we needed, met all the deadlines and successfully coordinated a great number of different parties. It was a real pleasure working with her.’

    ‘Business-oriented professionals; committed; hands-on; well connected in local market; high ethical standards.’

    ‘Vassilis Mavromatis and Evaggelia Nikolopoulou solve any questions the clients may have; they have the patience to explain the risks and they know the Greek legislation very well.’

    ‘Professionalism in every field for successful results of our final target.’

    ‘In my view, Platis Athanasiasis & Associates has excellent knowledge of bankruptcy law and the relevant procedures.’

    ‘The individuals I worked with, were very polite and cooperative.’

    Key clients

    G. Lazaridis Marmor S.A.

    FESSAS S.A. Under Special Administration

    Hellenic Vehicle Industry S.A.

    Creta Farm S.A.

    European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

    TEMKA S.A.

    Maria AVEE

    KATSIAMAKAS ANONYME INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL COMPANY

    ALEX. P. PALAIOLOGOS S.A.

    Work highlights

      POTAMITISVEKRIS

      POTAMITISVEKRIS is a prominent leader in the market and impresses with its strength in corporate restructurings. Recent work includes a restructuring of a major healthcare group, involving the transfer of debts to a new company controlled by a Greek systemic bank and a foreign investor, amounting to €500m. Significant work also includes work for the Hellenic Ministry of Finance for whom the practice coordinated a committee that will redraft the Greek Bankruptcy Code, creating commercial and consumer insolvency proceedings and providing liquidation preventatives and solutions. Stathis Potamitis directs the practice.

      Practice head(s):

      Stathis Potamitis

      Other key lawyers:

      George Bersis; Vassillis Stergiou

      Testimonials

      ‘Konstantinos Rachaniotis understands the real legal and business risk of the client.’

      ‘Stathis Potamitis is very familiar with the issues and readily available to give guidance and advice.’

      ‘It is a pleasure working with Potamitis-Vekris. Further to their high legal expertise and collaboration, I enjoy their business sense which provides extra value in concluding challenging restructuring cases.’

      ‘The following individuals stand out: Partners: Vasilis Stergiou, Konstantinos Papadiamantis Associates: Maria Perifanou, Dimitra Androulakaki.’

      ‘Excellent expertise and market knowledge; excellent connection with the litigation aspects of the procedure; perfect; organised; very well staffed.’

      ‘Stathis Potamitis is maybe the most prominent practitioner in the sector in Greece. Stathis combines expertise on the highest level and excellent soft skills, especially in regards to lengthy and complex negotiations.’

      ‘Vasillis Stergiou and Konstantinos Rachaniotis are the cornerstone legal persons in complex restructurings in Greece. Adamant characters with high-end legal and business skills.’

      ‘Extensive expertise in national procedures, as well as European and global.’

      Key clients

      Hellenic Ministry of Finance

      Folli Follie

      Agricultural Bank of Greece Liquidator

      PWC

      Hellenic Post Bank Liquidator

      Alpha Bank

      CepalBank of Cyprus

      Piraeus Bank

      Intrum

      EBRD

      Eurobank

      Dovalue

      DIAS Aquaculture

      Varangis Societe Anonyme

      Work highlights

      • Advised Folli Follie on the restructuring of a retail group that was the victim of massive fraud by owners.
      • Advised on a successful restructuring of a major healthcare business in Greece, with a total debt of €0.5bn, which will be transferred to a new company controlled by a foreign investor and a Greek systemic bank.
      • Advised the Ministry of Finance of Greece on outlining the insolvency reform, including the implementation of provisions of the Restructuring Directive.

      AKL Law Firm

      AKL Law Firm has a wide breadth of expertise in restructuring and insolvency procedures, often advising on acquisitions of distressed and non-distressed assets, in addition to advising lenders, shareholders and investors on collective and individual enforcement procedures, corporate recoveries and business and asset restructurings. The group is acting for the special administrator in court proceedings arisen from Hellenic Shipyards, a matter involving EU state aid legislation and a request of judicial extension. The practice is collectively led by the experienced Constantine Alexiou, Alexandros Kosmopoulos and Sotiris Foteas.

      Practice head(s):

      Constantine Alexiou; Alexandros Kosmopoulos; Sotiris Foteas

      Other key lawyers:

      Vicky Zarakioti; Eleftheria Vassila

      Work highlights

      • Represented the special administrator of Hellenic Shipyards in various court proceedings seeking a judicial extension of the duration of special administration procedure.
      • Advised Eurobank, Alpha Bank and Piraeus Bank on the status, impact and consequence of a long series of pending proceedings between the owner of a landmark hospitality unit in Crete.
      • Represented Eurobank, acting as the bondholders agent, under a €33m project loan, in taking termination action and pursuing enforcement proceedings seeking to foreclose on the property of a private clinic.

      Karatzas & Partners

      The practice at Karatzas & Partners is ‘renowned for its ability to advise on the most complex structures and handle the most challenging transactions‘. Restructurings are a mainstay of the practice, with its work for Value SpA on Project Duette, involving the issuance of new senior secured notes amounting to €300m and falling due in 2026, a recent highlight. For Eurobank, the practice advised on the undertaking of Project Cairo which surrounds a corporate transformation plan, encompassing matters of multi-asset securitisation of NPEs and a hive-down process. The team is headed by Vassiliki Salaka.

      Practice head(s):

      Vassiliki Salaka

      Other key lawyers:

      Alexandros Metallinos; Sonia Saranti

      Work highlights

      • Advised B2Holding as participant bidder throughout the two-stage bidding process on all legal matters pertaining to the sale and transfer by Alpha Bank of receivables of sub-performing and non-performing consumer and small business loans portfolio with total exposure of approximately €2.5bn.
      • Advised Eurobank in its recently completed NPL reduction acceleration plan, Project Cairo, now a model for other transactions in the sector.
      • Acting for the arrangers on the VEGA transaction which consists of three NPL securitisations by Piraeus Bank with a book value of €5bn.

      Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm

      Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm has a particular focus on work-out strategies and negotiating out-of-court private restructuring agreements with creditors. The team often advises on insolvency and pre-insolvency proceedings, debt recovery, claw-back actions, and directors’ liability in the context of insolvency and restructuring plans. Notable work includes acting on restructuring discussions concerning debt toward Greek banks as well as restructuring matters involving possible cooperation and partial divestment to investors. Konstantinos Issaias and Theodore Rakintzis head the practice.

      Practice head(s):

      Konstantinos Issaias; Theodore Rakintzis

      Other key lawyers:

      Zaphirenia Theodoraki

      Work highlights

        Lambadarios Law Firm

        Lambadarios Law Firm acts for a varied client roster, including financial institutions and corporates, on liquidations, internal restructurings, increases and reductions of registered share capital as well as on regulatory and compliance requirements and ancillary agreements, including shareholder and management agreements. The practice frequently joins forces with international law firms. Significant work includes acting for DEPA S.A. on the due diligence, documentation and negotiations of its demerger corporate transformation amounting to €1bn. Prokopis Dimitriadis and Constantinos Lambadarios direct the team. Melina Katsimi impresses with her expertise in a broad range of sectors and strong restructuring track record.

        Practice head(s):

        Prokopis Dimitriadis; Constantinos Lambadarios

        Other key lawyers:

        Melina Katsim; Katerina Gini

        Key clients

        National Bank of Greece

        Piraeus Bank

        Hoist Finance

        PQH

        Baker McKenzie

        Lone Star

        Cana Pharma

        Davidson Kempner

        Intrum

        Work highlights

        • Advised DEPA SA on a corporate transformation with an approximate value of €1bn.
        • Acted as lead lenders’ counsel, advising Piraeus Bank on the sale of multiple NPL portfolios of a total of approximately €700m.
        • Advised all four Greek systemic banks as as subscribers to a bond loan amounting to €130m, regarding the refinancing of GEK TERNA.