23 March 2011
The CIS LCN is a joint winner of 2011 IFLR “M&A deal of the Year” Award

March 23, 2011 – The CIS LCN has been chosen as the joint winner of the prestigious IFLR 2011 “M&A deal of the year” Award for its role in the Danone-Unimilk merger. The IFLR Europe Awards 2011 have chosen the team of legal advisers who worked on the deal and demonstrated high quality legal advice combined with outstanding customer service and coordination.

Danone and Unimilk finalised the merger of their Fresh Dairy Product businesses in Russia and other CIS member countries in November 2010. The new entity’s operations will be spread across Russia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Ukraine as well as create opportunities for further expansion. It will account for around 21% of the total market with currently estimated sales of over USD 2.4bn.

Danone’s legal advisers in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Azerbaijan were member firms of the CIS Leading Counsel Network (CIS LCN), a network of leading law firms providing integrated legal advice across the CIS region: EPAM (Russia), Vlasova, Mikhel & Partners (Belarus), Aequitas (Kazakhstan), RULG (Ukraine) and FINA (Azerbaijan). Other members of the CIS LCN worked on the merger control and compliance checks in CIS jurisdictions, namely Kalikova & Associates in Kyrgyzstan, Turcan Cazac in Moldova and Ameria CJCS in Armenia

The key challenges of the deal were its multi-jurisdictional nature and the need for careful, thorough and consistent communication between all parties involved. Unlike previous multi-jurisdictional deals in the region which were predominantly advised by major international firms with offices across the region, the Danone/Unimilk deal was largely completed by the leading local law firms, who were members of the CIS LCN.

The CIS LCN’s success underlines the network’s unyielding commitment to modern, innovative and transparent practices and continuous demonstration of the quality, seamless service offered to clients by its talented and highly competent team.