GKC Partners (in professional association with White & Case) > Istanbul, Turkey > Firm Profile

GKC Partners (in professional association with White & Case)
Büyükdere Caddesi, No: 175, Kat: 10
34394 Esentepe, Istanbul
Turkey

Turkey > Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 1

The ‘highly experienced team’ at GKC Partners (in professional association with White & Case) covers a wide spectrum of financing transactions, including syndicated lending, acquisition financing, acting for both banks and project investors on project financing, structured financing, and mezzanine financing. The team, which is headed by Güniz Gökçe and Derin Altan, also has an ‘excellent track record representing clients in international capital markets transactions’, including IPOs. Ateş Turnaoğlu brings in additional expertise to the team, which garners praise for its ‘can and will do attitude’. Recent work highlights include advising Hepsiburada.com on its $780m IPO on Nasdaq.

Practice head(s):

Güniz Gökçe; Derin Altan

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Their product knowledge on various financing instruments is impressive and makes it highly efficient to work with them. They approach clients not only as a legal advisor reflecting the views of the customer to documentation but as a consultant opening the minds of the client with best practices on the subject. Prompt, professional and highly trustworthy.’

‘Ms. Guniz Gokce and Mr. Ates Turnaoglu are best in their fields.’

‘Highly experienced team and concerned with clients’ wishes and needs.’

‘GKC & Partners (White & Case Turkey) has an excellent track record representing clients in international capital markets transactions. The team has been a long-standing partner for us and has always delivered excellent service on our transactions.’

‘Derin Altan led the GKC (W&C Turkey) team in our debut Eurobond offering in 2021. His lean approach is highly appreciated, he steps in when necessary, saves us time on many matters and takes on our particular needs with great attention.’

‘The team is more than capable of conducting business. It gives comfort to clients to know that the team has a forward looking approach aiming to capture all possible problems ahead.’

‘All individuals are quite talented but Mr. Ates Turnaoglu does an exceptional job conducting business.’

Trustworthy, open to dialogue and reachable, always with a “can&will do attitude“.’

Key clients

Enerjisa Enerji Üretim A.Ş.

Borusan Holding A.Ş.

Garanti BBVA

Türkiye Vakıflar Bankası T.A.O.

Alternatif Bank

Akbank T.A.Ş.

Ülker Bisküvi Sanayi A.Ş.

Commerzbank AG

Pegasus Airlines

Başkent Doğalgaz Dağıtım Gayrimenkul Yatırım A.Ş.

BofA Securities and UBS

Hepsiburada.com

Zorlu Yenilenebilir Enerji A.Ş. (Zorlu Renewables)

Citi

Goldman Sachs

JP Morgan

T.C. Ziraat Bankası A.Ş.

Türkiye Halk Bankası A.Ş.

Türkiye İş Bankası A.Ş.

Türkiye Sınai Kalkınma Bankası A.Ş.

Yapı ve Kredi Bankası A.Ş.

QNB Finansbank A.Ş.

Work highlights

  • Advised Enerjisa in connection with €650m corporate financing provided by Akbank, HSBC Bank, ING Bank, Turkiye Garanti Bankasi and Turkiye Is Bankasi.
  • Advised Borusan Holding in its borrowing of a dual-tranche $155m and €87m syndicated loan by an international and domestic consortium consisting of 11 banks from 7 differential geographic regions.
  • Represented Hepsiburada.com in its $780m IPO (including green-shoe) on Nasdaq, being the first IPO by a Turkish company on Nasdaq.

Turkey > Foreign firms Tier 1

White & Case LLP is one of the most established foreign firms in Turkey through its subsidiary GKC Partners (in professional association with White & Case), with heavyweight offerings in corporate and finance law. Its client roster is particularly impressive in the banking and investment spaces, and tech sector M&A has also been a recent area of note for the firm. English-qualified partner Sebastian Buss is a key name in the financing sphere; he has deep experience in transactions across energy and infrastructure and has advised on key healthcare PPP projects.

Practice head(s):

Sebastian Buss

Key clients

Borusan Holding

Akbank

QNB Finansbank

Türkiye Sınai Kalkınma Bankası

Türkiye İş Bankası

ICBC Turkey Yatırım Menkul Değerler

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

China Construction Bank

Türkiye Vakıflar Bankası.

T.C. Zirrat Bankası

Halk Banka Skopje

Yapı Kredi Bank Nederland

Halkbank Beograd

Demir-Halk Bank (Nederland)

ICBC Turkey

Ülker Bisküvi Sanayi

Hepsiburada.com

Zorlu Yenilenebilir Enerji (Zorlu Renewables)

Zynga

Firmenich International

EBRD

Türkiye Garanti Bankası

DenizBank

Work highlights

  • Advised Borusan Holding on its borrowing of a dual-tranche $155m and €87m syndicated loan from an international and domestic consortium of 11 banks.
  • Advised the group of lenders on the restructuring of the existing debt of İdo İstanbul Deniz Otobüsleri.
  • Advised Hepsiburada.com on its $780m IPO (including a greenshoe option) on Nasdaq.

Turkey > Restructuring and insolvency Tier 1

One of the leading players in the restructuring market in Turkey, GKC Partners (in professional association with White & Case) has a solid track record primarily representing lenders in large-scale restructurings carried out in the domestic financial sector. Notable highlights include handling the financial restructuring of four Turkish premier league football clubs; Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray and Trabzonspor, totalling $1.1bn. Güniz Gökçe and Ateş Turnaoğlu jointly head the practice.

Practice head(s):

Güniz Gökçe; Ateş Turnaoğlu

Key clients

Yapı ve Kredi Bankasi A.S.

Akbank T.A.Ş.

Aktif Yatırım Bankası A.Ş.

Alternatifbank A.Ş.

Burgan Bank A.Ş.

DenizBank A.Ş.

Fibabanka A.Ş.

HSBC Bank A.Ş. İzmir Corporate Branch

HSBC Bank PLC

Odea Bank A.Ş.

Pasha Yatırım Bankası A.Ş.

Şekerbank T.A.Ş.

T.C. Ziraat Bankası A.Ş.

Türkiye Garanti Bankası A.Ş.

Türkiye Halk Bankası A.Ş.

Türkiye İş Bankası A.Ş.

Türkiye Sınai Kalkınma Bankası A.Ş.

Türkiye Vakıflar Bankası T.A.O.

Türkiye Sınai Kalkınma Bankası A.Ş.

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

DenizBank A.Ş.

İç Anadolu Doğalgaz Enerji Üretim ve Ticaret A.Ş.

Work highlights

  • Represented the lenders in the financial restructuring of Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray and Trabzonspor, with a total transaction size of $1.1bn.
  • Represented Yapı ve Kredi Bankasi and a syndicate of 17 other lenders led by Yapı ve Kredi Bankasi, in relation to the restructuring of the existing financial debt of Arkas.
  • Acted as Turkish and English legal counsel to the lenders for the restructuring of the existing debt of İdo İstanbul Deniz Otobüsleri Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş. (İDO).

Turkey > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 2

Praised for its ‘exceptional service and thorough legal advice’, the practice at GKC Partners (in professional association with White & Case) advises clients across industry sectors including gaming, financial services and real estate. The department is headed by Emre Özşar, who earns plaudits for being a ‘good communicator and negotiator’. Senior associate Can Tolga Tezel, who is ’responsive, solution-oriented and easy to work with’, and associate Aslı Gülüm provide additional support.

Practice head(s):

Emre Özşar

Other key lawyers:

Can Tolga Tezel; Aslı Gülüm; İrem Kürkçü; Gökçen Durgut

Testimonials

‘GSK team is very dynamic, combining experience with hard work and client-oriented approach. They also had a great understanding of the commercial perspective which was helpful during the negotiations.’

‘Emre Özşar was very hands-on; always pragmatic; very good communicator and negotiator. We were very happy with his services. Emre makes a difference by balancing confidence and respect for the other side which gives the client an upper hand in negotiations.’

‘The team at GKC became an integral part of the overall deal team. They were not only external advisors, but felt like a part of the team. They were always willing to go above and beyond. I would specifically mention Emre Ozsar, Tolga Tezel, Irem Kurkcu and Gokcen Durgut for their exceptional service and thorough legal advice.’

‘GKC team is a go-to for complex multijurisdictional IPO and M&A issues that require top-skill lawyers in multiple jurisdictions. In addition, their deep understanding of local and overseas laws with practical perspective on business matters is top-notch.’

‘I work closely with Emre Ozsar, who is able to clearly explain complex concepts in layman terms to business executives, is always approachable, and has strong technical skills that gives internal legal counsels the comfort and trust they seek.’

‘The GKC team has provided us with excellent service for over 3 years. They have a great understanding of Turkish laws and international deals, and have helped us balance cross-border issues with flexible approaches and innovative solutions.’

Key clients

Zynga Inc.

Qatar Investment Authority

Firmenich

Zurich Insurance Group

Goldman Sachs International

EBRD

Aydıner İnşaat A.Ş.

TFI TAB Gıda

Delivery Hero SE

SoftBank

Work highlights

  • Represented Zynga in the acquisition of Peak Oyun Yazılım ve Pazarlama for $1.8bn.
  • Advised Qatar Investment Authority on its acquisition of 10% shares of Turkey’s stock exchange Borsa Istanbul A.S. from Turkey Wealth Fund, the majority holder of Turkey’s stock exchange.
  • Advised Goldman Sachs International and EBRD on their acquisition of a minority stake in DgPays, a Turkish digital payments business, from the founder, Mustafa Serkan Ömerbeyoğlu.

Turkey > Competition Tier 2

'Truly an expert in the field', counsel Sezin Elçin-Cengiz coordinates the competition practice at GKC Partners (in professional association with White & Case). She has over 20 years of experience in the area, including a decade working at the TCA, and represents the firm's heavyweight clients in merger filings and exemption or clearance applications, as well as cartel and abuse of dominance investigations. The association with White & Case yields blue-chip clients in areas including banking and insurance, and it collaborates with its international network on cross-border matters.

Practice head(s):

Sezin Elçin-Cengiz

Testimonials

‘Sezin Elçin-Cengiz spearheads GKC’s competition practice, and she never falls short of providing top notch legal advice on very complex issues. The team is relatively small, something which the firm may work on in the future to supplement Sezin’s invaluable assistance to her clients.’

‘Sezin is truly an expert in the field. She turns the most complex topics into clearly understandable briefings. She is extremely hands on and always reachable, another area where she has no room for even the slightest improvement.’

‘GKC Partners is certainly a powerhouse in Turkey when it comes to full-fledge law firms. They are not precisely known for their competition practice, but that is a misevaluation – especially given Sezin Elçin-Cengiz’s presence.’

‘Sezin Elçin-Cengiz is an important figure in the field, having good communication skills with the authorities. She is able to understand the business needs swiftly.’

‘The team is always available, very responsive, very careful yet as fast as possible. What stands out most is that the team is also well-aware of the sector and business, even handles paralegal work and takes the burden off of clients’ shoulders. The client can respond to the team’s questions and sit back knowing that the matter is in safe hands.’

‘Sezin Elçin-Cengiz provides accurate insights as to what to expect.’

Very competent and familiar with the Turkish competition practise, experienced, pragmatic, available and able to translate and summarize discussions in a proper manner. Able to provide a good team of relevant lawyers, with one excellent leading member. Value for money and providing attractive engagement offers.

Key clients

Sun Chemical

SSR Mining

Zynga

Zurich Insurance

Riyadh International Catering

Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company PJSC

Goldman Sachs International

EBRD

Synthos

Huron / Ardian France

Work highlights

  • Represented DIC Corporation and its US subsidiary Sun Chemical in the merger control aspects of its proposed acquisition of BASF’s global pigments business.
  • Acted for Zynga in a multijurisdictional merger filing analysis with respect to its numerous acquisitions that Zynga successfully completed in the past year: Peak Games, Rollic games, Chef Games and Uncosoft Yazılım.
  • Represented Goldman Sachs International and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in merger filings to the Competition Authority in Turkey relating to their minority investment in DgPays, a Turkish digital payments business.

Turkey > Energy Tier 2

GKC Partners (in professional association with White & Case) stands out in the energy sector for its advice on a variety of project financings, particularly acting for banks. The team often assists with regulatory and compliance matters in relation to financing projects; a recent example saw practice heads Güniz Gökçe and Ateş Turnaoğlu lead the advice to a syndicate of banks funding Turkey’s first hybrid renewable energy project, which included an environmental compliance component.

Practice head(s):

Güniz Gökçe; Ateş Turnaoğlu

Testimonials

‘Ateş Turnaoğlu has substantial experience and a client-oriented approach.’

‘We have utilised the GKC Partners team mostly for finance-related business. The team has proven to be fast and effective, which is very important.’

‘Ateş Turnaoğlu stands out. He was our main point of contact from start to finish and could easily engage with the other party’s lawyers, explain to us their requirements and revert back with ours. He was also instrumental in getting an acquisition financing contract ready in record time. I am sure he drove his team to work unusually hard at the time. We felt very special and safe with him.’

‘The team is really professional and supportive.’

‘Whenever you need something they explain transparently and give you the right direction.’

Key clients

Türkiye Garanti Bankası

T.C. Ziraat Bankası

Türkiye Sınai Kalkınma Bankası

Türkiye Halk Bankası

Türkiye Kalkınma ve Yatırım Bankası

Türkiye Ekonomi Bankası (TEB)

ICBC

Work highlights

  • Advised Türkiye Garanti Bankası, TC Ziraat Bankası, Türkiye Sınai Kalkınma Bankası, Türkiye Halk Bankası and Türkiye Kalkınma ve Yatırım Bankası, as lenders, on the financing of the Aşağı Kaleköy combined dam and hydroelectric and solar renewable power plant, the first hybrid renewable energy project in Turkey.
  • Assisting TEB with the refinancing of CK Güneş Enerji Üretim for a total of 43.5MWp unlicensed solar power plant projects, where Kolin and Cengiz Groups acted as sponsors.
  • Advising ICBC Turkey Yatırım Menkul Değerler, a subsidiary of ICBC Turkey Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Dubai (DIFC) Branch, China Construction Bank, Türkiye Vakıflar Bankası TAO and TC Zirrat Bankası, as lenders, on the financing of the construction and operation of an integrated solar module manufacturing facility in Turkey for Kalyon Günes Enerjisi Üretim.

Turkey > Project finance/projects Tier 2

GKC Partners (in professional association with White & Case) has ‘tremendous knowledge of banking and finance regulation’ and garners praise from clients for offering ‘sound, diligent, well-structured and business-oriented solutionsThe team advises both foreign and domestic clients on project finance, particularly in the energy, infrastructure and transportation sectors. Seasoned finance expert Güniz Gökçe and Ateş Turnaoğlu, who has a wealth of experience in the project finance space, especially in the energy and infrastructure sectors, co-head the department.

Practice head(s):

Güniz Gökçe; Ateş Turnaoğlu

Testimonials

‘They have tremendous knowledge of banking and finance regulation. They have acted on both sides over many different projects, which means they can bring multiple perspectives to our discussions.’

‘Ateş Turnaoğlu was always available. He represented our company perfectly.’

‘The team has extensive knowledge in this field of law and always delivers sound, diligent, well-structured and business-oriented solutions in the most complex situations.’

‘Ateş Turnaoğlu has first-class legal knowledge and an excellent understanding of business. He is always reachable and a pleasure to work with.’

‘The team is very diligent and hands-on, and knows what to do without complicating things. They possess strong experience and crucial know-how in the area. In addition, we are very happy with the availability of the team.’

‘Ateş Turnaoğlu has strong expertise in this area.’

Key clients

Halk Banka AD Skopje

Yapı Kredi Bank Nederland NV

Halkbank AD Beograd,

Demir-Halk Bank (Nederland) N.V.

ICBC Turkey

Limak

T. Vakıflar Bankası T.A.O.

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

QNB Finansbank A.Ş.

Türkiye Garanti Bankası A.Ş.

T.C. Ziraat Bankası A.Ş.

DenizBank A.Ş.

Halkbank

Work highlights

  • Advised a consortium of lenders (consisting of Halk Banka AD Skopje, Yapı Kredi Bank Nederland NV, Halkbank AD Beograd, Demir-Halk Bank (Nederland) N.V. and ICBC Turkey) on the €105.5m financing of Diamond Skopje.
  • Advising the lenders (Ziraat Bankası, Garanti BBVA, DenizBank, Halkbank, Vakıfbank and QNB Finansbank A.Ş.) with regard to the refinancing of the existing €6bn financing of Istanbul’s third airport.
  • Advised Vakıfbank in connection with the amendment of the repayment schedule of the existing financing for Prishtina International Airport, operated by Limak on a PPP basis.

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