Ukraine: Vasil Kisil & Partners Wins the IFLR European Award for M&A Deal of the Year
Last Updated: 6 April 2011

Originally published April 4, 2011

On March 23, International Financial Law Review (IFLR) has announced winners of its annual European Awards.

The merger of Unimilk and Danone, in which Vasil Kisil & Partners advised Danone, was named European M&A Deal of the Year, and noted by IFLR for its precedent-setting significance for the Ukrainian and Russian antitrust administrative practices. Vasil Kisil & Partners Law Firm received the IFLR’s M&A Deal of the Year European Award along with a prominent panel of the major law firms (US, EU and CIS-based) which worked on this complex multi-jurisdictional transaction.

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

VKP provided legal advice to Danone, including drafting transaction documents, advising on various transaction and regulatory matters, as well as obtaining Ukrainian merger clearance and concerted actions approval for the JV transaction.

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 advised mostly by major international firms with offices across the region, the Danone/Unimilk deal was largely completed by the leading local law firms, including Vasil Kisil & Partners as a Ukrainian law counsel.

Commenting on this achievement, Denis Lysenko, partner, chair of VKP’s M&A and Competition practice groups, said: "We are very pleased with our long-term cooperation with Danone - one of our key clients in Ukraine. Successful completion of this deal is a result of synergy between Danone’s project team and our firm’s competition and M&A professionals. We are happy that our firm has contributed to Danone’s development and growth in the Ukrainian market. Our practice remains committed to providing the best services possible to ensure our clients’ business success through handling the most sophisticated components of any cross-border transaction involving Ukrainian assets or having an impact in the Ukrainian market."

International Financial Law Review (IFLR) is the industry’s trusted source for providing analysis and information on developments in financial markets law to in-house counsel and practitioners. Since 1982, IFLR has been providing unbiased and comprehensive news analysis on international deals, reports on legislative changes, practice issues, latest techniques and best practice strategies.

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About the Firm

Established in 1992, Vasil Kisil & Partners is a Ukrainian law firm that delivers integrated legal advice in banking & finance, mergers & acquisitions, capital markets, business & commercial law, dispute resolution, tax law, energy and natural resources law, intellectual property law, international trade law, labor and employment law, real estate and construction law, as well as public private partnership concessions and infrastructure law.

We serve international and domestic companies, as well as private individuals, dealing with banking and financial industry sectors, agriculture, chemical, construction, energy, hi-tech, general commodities, insurance, IT, media, metallurgy, pharmaceutical, real estate, shipbuilding, telecommunications, trading, transport, and other industries and economy sectors.

Our clients include such world-known companies as Alpcot Agro, Africa-Israel Group, Astellas Pharma, BASF, Bayer Consumer, BNP Paribas, British American Tobacco, Central European Media Enterprises, Coca Cola, Credit Agricole Group, Danone, Dell Inc., Du Pont, Energy Standard Group, Eurosport, Google, IKB Deutsche Industriebank , LG Electronics, Leroy Merlin Ukraine, Lukoil, Metso Automation Oy, Moody’s, Mott MacDonald Limited, NCH Capital, Novacke chemicke zavody, Opel, Philips, Pioneer, Red Bull, Russian Standard Bank, St. Sophia Homes, SEB AB, SEB Group, Swedbank AB, Seven Hills, Shell, Standard Charted Bank, Tchibo, UniCredit Group, Vanco International / Vanco Energy, Volkswagen, VympelCom.

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