Banking and finance in Romania
The ‘very responsive’ and ‘prepared’ team at Clifford Chance Badea provides ‘appropriate and timely’ advice on the full range of banking and finance matters. On the acquisition front, practice head Daniel Badea recently advised J.C. Flowers & Co on the purchase of Piraeus Bank Romania. Counsel Cosmin Anghel is singled out by clients; he acted for BCR and BRD – Groupe Société Générale on a club loan facility granted to Netcity Telecom. Andreea Sisman is also a key member of the team and specialises in real estate finance and corporate finance and restructurings.
Simon Dayes, Simona Marin and Cristina Reichmann jointly head the 'experienced' and 'diligent' practice at CMS, which is frequently instructed by Viennese, Greek, German and Romanian banks on cross-border lending. Reichmann recently acted for Alpha Bank Romania in relation to the sale of its portfolio of corporate non-performing and sub-performing loans and the team also advised Erste Bank and Raiffeisen Bank on the acquisition financing of Profi Rom Food by Mid Europa Partners. Clients praise the group as 'business-minded' and 'up to date with current developments'. Areas of particular expertise include project finance, real estate finance, structured finance, NPLs and FinTech.
Filip & Company advised Banca Transilvania in relation to the acquisition of Bancpost, including advising on due diligence matters, transaction structuring and regulatory matters. A further notable highlight was acting for the National Bank of Greece in its attempted sale of Romanian subsidiary Banca Românească. Practice head Alina Stancu Birsan is supported by Alexandru Birsan and Carmen Peli. Alexandra Manciulea has been promoted to counsel; senior associate Mirona Apostu is also recommended.
Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen fields a ‘customer-oriented’ team that ‘delivers tailor-made solutions for any situation’ with ‘the appetite to engage in new and innovative transactions’. Clients include Banca Comercială Română and BRD – Groupe Société Générale, with Valentin Voinescu acting for both in regard to the financing of Caroli Foods Group. Alina Radu heads the team alongside Manuela Nestor and is praised as a ‘magnificent lawyer’ who ‘provides a very good service under time pressure’. The practice covers the full spectrum of matters, including financing, regulatory work, distressed debt acquisitions and restructuring.
RTPR Allen & Overy (Radu Tărăcilă Pădurari Retevoescu SCA in association with Allen & Overy LLP) displays an ‘outstanding blend of local and international knowledge’ and ‘a broad understanding of both the legal and business side of their clients’ needs’. The team acted for ING Bank, UniCredit Bank, Raiffeisen Bank and Banca Comercială Română in relation to an extended credit facility of $360m granted to KMG International Group. EBRD instructed the team in its $60m financing to SNTGN Transgaz, the company behind the high-profile BRUA project. Victor Pădurari and Alexandru Retevoescu jointly head the practice. The ‘truly inspiring’ Pădurari is an expert in project finance, secured lending and real estate finance and Retevoescu focuses on banking regulation, corporate finance and leveraged finance. Overall strengths of the team include real estate finance and acquisition finance. Senior associate Poliana Gogu-Naum is also singled out.
Ţuca Zbârcea & Asociaţii handles the full spectrum of banking and finance matters. On the NPL front, the team assisted Deutsche Bank, AnaCap Financial Europe and APS Holding with the takeover of a NPLs from Alpha Bank Romania and Alpha Bank. The team had an active year in the financing sphere, advising Unicredit Bank on a €50m financing granted to Forte Partners. Mihai Dudoiu, Gabriela Anton, Catalin Baiculescu and Stefan Damian are key members of the team and jointly lead the practice.
Bondoc si Asociatii SCA in alliance with White & Case is well regarded for its regulatory, corporate finance and distressed acquisition work. Practice head Simona Petrisor advised Fondul Proprietatea on the extension of a facility agreement provided by BRD – Groupe Société Générale and also acted for Mid Europa Partners on the financing of its proposed acquisition of food retail chain Profi Rom Food. The team has niche expertise in the aviation and shipping finance spheres and was recently bolstered by the arrival of Florin Sandu from Muşat & Asociaţii.
Kinstellar is assisting the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in relation to a secured loan facility for the construction of an 84MW wind farm in Romania. Key client BNP Paribas Fortis received advice on the release of existing security for finance granted to Joris Ide Group. Bogdan Bibicu heads the group, which is well regarded for its work on insolvency and regulatory matters, financial restructuring and NPL portfolios.
Mona Muşat, Monia Dobrescu and Razvan Stoicescu lead the team at Muşat & Asociaţii and act on both local and international transactions. Project finance is a particular strength of the practice, with Muşat currently acting for an Asian bank in relation to the financing of five photovoltaic projects across Romania. Elsewhere, Stoicescu acted for a chemical industry company on refinancing its existing debt via a bank credit facility. The recent caseload also includes a number of real estate transactions.
Reff & Associates SCA's team is praised for its ‘knowledge and skills combined with flexibility and a win-win mentality’. It advises on all areas of transactional banking and has particular expertise with NPLs. Andrei Burz-Pinzaru heads the practice. Burz-Pinzaru and Alina Tihan recently assisted Green Oil and Lubes in relation to the structuring, negotiating and drafting of a secured financing agreement. A further highlight saw the team advise a bank on the winding down of its Romanian branch. Burz-Pinzaru and managing associate Andreea Serban ‘are very good professionals’ who adopt ‘a very human approach’.
NPL portfolio sales are a core strength for Schoenherr şi Asociaţii SCA. The team assisted Piraeus Bank with introducing a service level agreement regarding a large portfolio of NPLs following the client’s exit from the Romanian market. In a further highlight, practice head Matei Florea advised OTP Bank Romania on its attempted purchase of Banca Românească shares held by the National Bank of Greece. Further areas of expertise for the group include deleveraging transactions, debt restructuring projects, regulation, financing and banking-sector transactions.
Recently promoted partner Crina Ciobanu heads the practice at Suciu Popa jointly with Miruna Suciu. The team covers the full spectrum of banking and finance matters and is particularly active in the energy, oil & gas, FMCG and infrastructure industries. In a recent highlight the team advised Enel Energie and Enel Energie Muntenia, both subsidiaries of Enel SpA, on the financing of various intragroup activities. It also assisted Hili Properties with securing financing for the acquisition of the ART Business Centre. British and American companies form a large proportion of the practice’s international client base.
Bohalteanu şi Asociaţii
Bohalteanu şi Asociaţii receives praise for its ‘availability, flexibility and innovative approach’. A recent highlights was assisting Erste Group Bank with the extension of a €11m credit facility. ‘Forward-thinking’ and ‘solution-oriented’ practice head Daniela Milculescu acts for a number of clients in the real estate, construction, FMCG and manufacturing industries.
Bulboaca & Asociatii
Bulboaca & Asociatii advised Banca Comercială Română on the new European legislative framework regarding markets in financial instruments (MiFID II) and assisted Raiffeisen Bank with security documents and requirements for securing a €14m refinancing tranche. Deutsche Bank London, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Europe also count among the team's clients. Adrian-Catalin Bulboaca heads the practice.
Perry V. Zizzi's team at Dentons is well regarded for its real estate and corporate finance capabilities, as well as for loan work-outs and restructurings. It assisted Banca Comercială Română and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development with the development financing for two green warehouses. In another highlight, the practice formed part of an international team advising a consortium of lenders on the acquisition of Fortuna Entertainment Group. The team has experience advising clients in the manufacturing, technology, green energy and automotive industries.
Leroy si Asociatii
Andreea Toma and Cristina Togan jointly lead the practice at Leroy si Asociatii, recently advising Société Générale on a syndicated loan for a bulk carrier vessel acquisition. Elsewhere, Togan and Toma provided counsel to the International Finance Corporation in relation to amendments to credit and security documentation entered into by the client with Med Life Group. The team covers the full range of finance work, acting on both domestic and cross-border matters.
Popovici Nitu Stoica & Asociatii handles transactional, regulatory and structuring matters and has particular expertise in asset finance, acquisition deals and corporate and retail lending transactions. Recent highlights include advising subsidiaries of Immofinanz Group on term-loan facilities for the development of office buildings in Bucharest, and assisting CLN Group with an increase of its €200m loan facilities. Bogdan Stoica and Alexandru Ambrozie jointly head the team, which acts for household names such as BNP Paribas, KIWI Finance and Deutsche Leasing.
TMO Attorneys at Law in association with KPMG Romania frequently handles banking transactions and NPLs. In a recent highlight, the team represented EOS Credit Funding in the acquisition of an unsecured non-performing retail portfolio from Banca Transilvania. The Romanian Banking Association sought the team’s advice on the potential impact of several legislation proposals. Managing partners Laura Toncescu and Sebastian Olteanu lead the practice.
Volciuc-Ionescu's practice headed by Sabin Volciuc-Ionescu specialises in the energy, infrastructure, technology and financial institutions sectors. A recent instruction saw the group act on banking side in a $40m financing provided to Tsakos Energy Navigation for the construction of two oil tankers. The team also advised Mercuria Energy Trading on financing provided to Vast Group as prepayment for future deliveries of mined natural resources. Another key client is Western Union.
Wolf Theiss' expertise lies in the oil & gas, automotive, energy, telecoms, steel and shipping industries. The team also has real estate sector expertise and acted for Revetas Capital in the acquisition of a high-value hotel complex spanning 86,000sqm. The practice, led by Claudia Chiper, had a busy year on the NPL front and recently advised B2Kapital on the purchase of a €271m NPL portfolio. Additional key areas of work include project finance, private placements, regulatory matters and FinTech. Senior associate Ramona Hromei departed to set up her own firm.
Refinancing and financing transactions are a particular strength of bpv Grigorescu Ştefănică. The team assisted Moldova-based Glass Container with its debt restructuring. Noted for its ‘client-oriented attitude’, the group also excels in the banking regulatory space, acting for clients such as Bancpost on a range of issues. Catalin Grigorescu and Alexandru Rusu jointly helm the practice.
DLA Piper Dinu SCA is particularly well regarded for real estate financing in addition to restructuring and regulatory matters. Cristian Vlaicu is the name to note and leads the practice jointly with Marian Dinu. The team acted for the owner and operator of an international online car auction platform in respect to its cross-border platform for sales with deferred payment.
Dragne & Asociaţii SCA acts on a wide spectrum of transactions including restructuring and refinancing. Stelian Garofil is recommended for debt restructuring while Andreia Oana Dumitrescu and Daniel Cirstea are respectively strong in the enforcement of loan arrangements and project finance. Clients include commercial and investment banks as well as various non-financial institutions.
Names such as Piraeus Bank, BRD – Groupe Société Générale and Banca Transilvania form part of Zamfirescu Racoti Vasile & Partners' client roster. Ioana Racoti and Elena Iacob head the group, which acted for Alro in relation to a $167m term and revolving multi-currency facility provided by a syndicate of banks. The team also advised Alum on a $20m loan from Black Sea Trade.