14 October 2011
IFLR 1000 Recommends the Joint Team of Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners in Four CIS Jurisdictions

The newly released International Finance Law Review 1000 (IFLR 1000) recommends the joint team of Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners not only for Russia but also for three other CIS jurisdictions of the Firm's presence that has been extended significantly after its merger with Magisters. In Belarus the Firm is the leader of the ranking.

In Russia, Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners is recommended for restructuring and insolvency as well as for mergers and acquisitions. The Firm is "very much a firm on the up. It was built around its corporate capability and had a very exciting year. The firm agreed to merge with Magisters, creating the largest firm in the Russia and CIS region".

The Firm is described as "well-known" and "strong in M&A". In terms of work, the best among a clutch of multi-billion dollar deals was its activity on the Danone merger with Unimilk. This deal, which took in operations across Russia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, created the new market leader for dairy products in the CIS and closed for $2.4 billion in November 2010. The deal went on the win the IFLR magazine's 'M&A Deal of the Year' award for 2011.

The guide recognizes EPA&P's strength in the corporate area, and mentions its corporate head Dmitry Stepanov. As well as advising the latter in a deal worth almost $1.5 billion, a team led by Mikhail Kazantsev and Andrey Mashkovstev advised a client on the restructuring of a coal mine in the Republic of Tuva, in Russia, in line with the bankruptcy proceedings that the mine had to go through prior to its acquisition.

As in other areas, the firm "is ambitious" and as one partner alludes to "EPA&P do push themselves very hard".

In Belarus, the firm's team (ex-Magisters) is ranked in the highest 1 Tier. The firm "breaks through to the top tier this year with a clutch of notable deals". The local team led by partners Dennis Turovets and Anna Rusetskaya is described by their peers as "really serious competitors". They were acting on the debut Eurobond issues, in which a team advised BNP Paribas, RBS, Deutsche Bank and Sberbank on two separate issues, with aggregated values of $1 billion and $800 million respectively. "Being selected as the sole Belarusian counsel makes this a feather in the firm's cap". The team also advised the Eurasian Bank of Development on the $100 million financing for the proposed Polotskava Hydro Energy Station.

In Ukraine, the guide ranks the Firm for banking and finance and mergers and acquisitions. The peers notes that it is "a big CIS player" and "there is no doubt as to the professional level" of its team.

The firm's team (ex-Magisters) has been active in the capital markets. It advised joint lead managers, JPMorgan Securities, Morgan Stanley and VTB Capital in relation to the issuance of $1.5 billion 7.95% notes due 2021 for Ukraine's external state borrowing. The team has been involved in some notable mandates of late advising DCH on the sale of $400 million 18.57% shares and the acquisition of a loan portfolio from UkrSibbank to BNP Paribas.

In Kazakhstan, the firm (ex-Magisters) is ranked in the financial and corporate category as a player that "continues to build market share in Kazakhstan". In Kazakhstan, the firm's team is advising Impregilo, Todini, Salini and IL&FS Transportation Networks on the 301km Almaty-Khorgos toll road which is the biggest PPP project valued at €1.1 billion.

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