"Public-private partnerships gain popularity in Lithuania"
552 Lithuania Lithuania Chamber of commerce: Professional body: Chambers of commerce: Lithuanian Bar Association Association of Lithuanian Chambers of Tilto g 17 / Radvilu g 4 Commerce, Industry and Crafts LT 01101 Vilnius J Tumo-Vaizganto g 9/1-63a Lithuania Vilnius Tel: +370 5 262 4546 Lithuania Fax: +370 5 212 1859 Tel: +370 5 261 2102 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com Web: www.advoco.lt Web: www.chambers.lt Public-private partnerships gain concession, the state or municipal authority tor projects, and the state authorities may be grants authority to the concessionaire in com- considered as reliable partners throughout popularity in Lithuania pliance with the concession contract: (a) to these projects. Jonas Saladzius and Jevgenija Kovaliova engage in economic activity (such as the Saladzius & Partners design, construction, development, renova- Recent changes to the legal regulation of PPPs Vilnius tion, repair, management, use and/or mainte- PPPs have great potential in Lithuania and nance of infrastructure objects); (b) to provide their implementation in practice is improving Since the age of privatization is coming to an public services; and (c) to manage and/or use constantly. Recent changes to the legislation end (a few state-owned companies could still state-owned or municipal property, including include amendments to the Law on be subject to sale), new ways of attracting the exploitation of mineral resources. Concessions (2006), amendments to the Law investments into Lithuania are being sought. It should be noted that the concessionaire on Local Self-Government (2006), and The cooperation of public authorities and pri- assumes under the concession contract all, or amendments to the Law on Management, vate companies to deliver a project or service a major part of, the operating risk and under- Usage and Disposal of State and Municipal traditionally provided by the public sector is takes the relevant rights and duties. A Property (2006). becoming more and more popular. Lithuanian or foreign entity, or even a joint There are certain developments in the legal venture, can become a concessionaire, but a regulation of concessions, which is presently a Deﬁnition and legal regulation of PPPs in natural person can not. The Law on good legal environment. Recent changes to Lithuania Concessions of the Republic of Lithuania pro- the Law on Concessions include a stipulation There is no unanimous deﬁnition of the pub- vides a list of spheres where the concession that the awarding authority shall appoint a lic-private partnership (PPP) in Lithuanian could be used (such as energy, railways, waste commission to arrange and award the conces- law. The public-private partnership in management, telecommunications and sions. It was also established that the refusal of Lithuania is commonly referred to as a coop- roads). applications for tender offers shall be based on eration between representatives of the public PPPs lie somewhere between public pro- the grounds speciﬁed under the Law on and private sectors, based on a long-term curement and privatization. Since privatiza- Concessions. Furthermore, the authorities agreement, the essence of which is to deliver a tion projects have almost been exhausted and supervising concessions must be established project or render services traditionally the Government has stringent requirements by the Government. assigned to the competence of the public sec- on spending via public procurement, PPPs are These amendments elaborate the essential tor, and to develop the facilities necessary to gaining momentum in Lithuania. While in terms of the concession agreement: it was render these services. privatization the ownership of the property established that concessions should not last There is not a uniform legal act covering all transfers from the state to the private compa- more than 25 years, and that the concession the possible models of PPPs in Lithuania, as in ny, under a concession the property is trans- agreement must describe the sharing of risk some European countries. However, the legal ferred only for the established period and only between the concessionaire and the awarding basis for PPPs exists and is covered by the Law for management by a private company. Unlike authority. The Law on Concessions also pro- on Concessions; the Civil Code of the public procurement agreements, a concession vides the possibility of setting up a special Republic of Lithuania; the Law on Local Self- is a long-term agreement and it enables the purpose company, controlled throughout the Government; the Law on Management, Usage concessionaire to provide a variety of services, concession period by the concessionaire, to and Disposal of the State and Municipal including at the project, building, and operat- implement the project. Property; and other laws and by-laws. The fol- ing stages. lowing models of PPPs could be considered: Both local authorities and the Applications of the PPP in Lithuania concessions, joint activities (partnerships or Government perceive the concession as a ben- The concession can be applied to healthcare joint ventures) and long-term leases. eﬁcial instrument in public hands. The public (construction, renovation and maintenance of sector enjoys ﬁnancing opportunities in addi- hospitals), education (construction, renova- The concession as the most popular PPP tion to the know-how and working methods tion and maintenance of schools and other model in Lithuania of the private sector. The private sector also educational institutions), transport (design, The most developed and regulated method of beneﬁts from the opportunity to gain from construction and maintenance of roads and cooperation between the public and private public infrastructure. Concessions also enable transport facilities), and collection and man- sectors in Lithuania is concession. Under a the private sector to participate in public sec- agement of waste. Some high value projects in www.iﬂr1000.com 2008 EDITION Capital markets | Lithuania 553 the energy sector are also pending and there ﬁrm is consistently rated as being among the tors report seeing most regularly in the mar- are a number of lower value projects at the top four ﬁrms in Lithuania for capital mar- ket. The lawyer is “from a new generation” municipal level. kets. but has the credentials to match the country’s Highlights from the last year include more established names. “He is very experi- assisting Levuo, a Lithuanian retailer of cloth- enced and a good negotiator,” said a competi- ing and designer products, in its preparation tor. for an IPO, and advising EuroChem Mineral Adamonis was most visible recently assist- Capital markets and Chemical Company, a major Russian ing Vilniaus Akropolis, the largest developer producer of chemical products, on a $300 and operator of shopping centres in Recommended ﬁrms million debt issuance. Lithuania, in preparations to list on the Tier 1 Vilnius Stock Exchange, in what was expected Bernotas & Dominas Glimstedt Leading lawyers to be the largest-ever IPO in the Baltics. Lideika Petrauskas Valiunas ir partneriai Egidijus Bernotas Unfortunately, the client suspended the Elijus Burgis process at the very last stage. Tier 2 Gediminas Dominas In other business a team has been coun- Norcous & Partners Remigijus Jakutis selling a global food and beverage company Sorainen on issues related to minority shareholders of Sutkiene Pilkauskas & Partners the client’s subsidiary in Lithuania on the pos- Lideika Petrauskas Valiunas ir sibility of a squeeze-out to be executed after Tier 3 partneriai acquiring the status of the issuer through Foigt & Partners/Regija Borenius Giedrius Stasevicius heads Lithuania’s pre- making an IPO of shares or debt securities. Foresta eminent capital markets legal team. Described The ﬁrm beneﬁts signiﬁcantly from the Jurevicius Balciunas & Bartkus by rivals as “one of the best” he is widely inclusion in its ranks of Algirdas Peksys, who Saladzius & Partners respected by competitors, one of whom said: joined the ﬁrm in 2005 after having spent “He is competent and knows the markets well seven years working as general counsel of the “There are not many IPOs in Lithuania” – he has a good reputation.” Beneath him, Vilnius Stock Exchange. One rival comment- observed one analyst, “but they are happening Gediminas Reciunas “is younger but has all ed: “Peksys is very clever and is the rising star now.” For several years memories of capital the competencies to go far”. Clients turn to in capital markets.” The Vilnius Stock markets failures and a perception that the the ﬁrm because they know they will enjoy an Exchange has continued to seek guidance market was not able to absorb new share “excellent quality of the service” and because from him on issues related to securities market issuances discouraged companies from taking they ﬁnd the lawyers there “very responsive”. regulations and, in particular, trading in secu- the initial public offering (IPO) route. Now The team continues to give counsel on the rities and the listing and delisting of compa- the rapid growth of the economy, the integra- most signiﬁcant transactions in the jurisdic- nies. tion of Lithuanian capital markets into global tion, most notably advising Olympic capital markets, and the increased interest of Entertainment Group on its 64 million IPO Leading lawyers global investors have meant that Lithuanian in October 2006. City Service’s 17 million Kestutis Adamonis equity capital markets have started to ﬁzz secondary public offering in June 2007 was Algirdas Peksys again. The number of IPOs in the country is another more recent example of this. In other Rita Svedaite expected to increase in the years to come. equity work, the practice has been assisting On the debt side, a trend has been emerg- Franklin Templeton Investment Funds in its ing where domestic mid-tier Lithuanian registration for public distribution in Sutkiene Pilkauskas & Partners banks, which lack strategic investors, are Lithuania. Sutkiene Pilkauskas & Partners has a solid going to international capital markets and Meanwhile, the ﬁrm’s debt capital markets capital markets practice of which one tier-one issuing debt instruments. Previously they had endeavours include counselling Credit Suisse competitor said: “I am most conﬁdent in the been regarded as too weak to be making such on a 325 million offering of senior secured credentials of Sutkiene.” Jonas Pilkauskas in moves but there is now a feeling that they ﬂoating-rate notes by French alcoholic drinks particular is identiﬁed as being “very good at have reached a certain maturity. Their larger producer Belvédère in May 2006 and advising what he does”. The team was further strength- Lithuanian competitors, subsidiaries of on 150 million Eurobond issue by Bankas ened in April 2007 with the arrival of Vladas Scandinavian banks, do not have the same Snoras a year later. At the time of writing the Bagavicius from the Central Securities compulsion as they receive funds from their firm was engaged by the Republic of Depository of Lithuania. parent operations. Lithuania to advise it on a Eurobond issue. This said, it has been a fairly quiet year for the ﬁrm on the capital markets front, a reﬂec- Leading lawyers tion of the market as a whole. The ﬁrm’s Bernotas & Dominas Glimstedt Gediminas Reciunas biggest mandate in the last year came from Bernotas & Dominas Glimstedt is regarded Giedrius Stasevicius FMI Finasta, the largest ﬁnancial brokerage by the market as a competent outﬁt which is Zilvinas Zinkevicius ﬁrm in Lithuania, which a team advised in able to draw on a range of talent in capital relation to the public offering of shares in a markets. Gediminas Dominas is considered to Lithuanian real-estate development company. be one of the top lawyers in the country while Sorainen all agree that Egidijus Bernotas is a leading Sorainen is looked upon as a well entrenched Leading lawyers lawyer “because he is very tough and a good and active participant in Lithuanian capital Jonas Pilkauskas negotiator” and “Elijus Burgis is very clever, markets. Kestutis Adamonis is the capital Eugenija Sutkiene shows initiative and gets good results”. The markets lawyer from Sorainen that competi- 2008 EDITION www.iﬂr1000.com 554 Lithuania | Banking Foigt & Partners/Regija market, often doing so without any presence With this enviable reputation the ﬁrm Borenius on the ground. But there are rumours of counts among its clients investment ﬁrm Despite some arrivals and departures of change afoot: The Royal Bank of Scotland, Finvesta, Hermis Finansai, Scandinavian lawyers, and the subdued market, capital mar- which recently set up shop in Helsinki and is Baltic Development, Inter IKEA Holding kets work has picked up for Regija Borenius very active in the region, is one party that Services and Pinus Proprius. over the last year and clients have appreciated allegedly has plans to move into the Baltics. In 2006 the practice’s most notable trans- “the quality, the speed and the cost of the ser- action came when it was engaged by Hypo vices”. Real Estate Bank International to give counsel In 2006 Regija Borenius advised strategic Lideika Petrauskas Valiunas ir on the 33 million ﬁnancing of Dawnay Day investor Imprimatur Capital on the subscrip- partneriai Carpathian, a British investment fund. tion of newly issued shares in UAB Vittamed, Many in the market share the opinion that in and this year, together with the other the ﬁeld of banking the legal competence and Leading lawyers Borenius Baltic ofﬁces, it advised leading experience of Lideika Petrauskas Valiunas ir Egidijus Bernotas Baltic media holding Ekspress Group in the partneriai, the Lithuanian arm of the Lawin Gediminas Dominas preparation and launching of its IPO. network, is unmatched. And on the evidence The practice also notably provided counsel of the ﬁrm’s deal list and client feedback it is to Deutsche Bank in relation to its 300 mil- hardly surprising. Norcous & Partners lion securitization of loans to Bite Finance The ﬁrm is a favourite for international Norcous & Partners capitalized on a spate of International, a parent company of Bite clients because its lawyers have a good under- defections from Regija Borenius, snapping up Lietuva, a Lithuanian mobile phone operator. standing of the local law and are able to adapt eight of its lawyers as part of a recruitment that to London-originated financings”, drive that has seen the ﬁrm grow by a third Leading lawyers according to one. The client added that they over the last year. Dalia Foigt “work exceptionally hard to deliver the prod- This is another practice that has been prof- Tomas Rymeikis uct on time”. Giedrius Stasevicius, who leads iting from the active M&A market, most the team, is particularly esteemed, with clients noticeably assisting a Lithuanian special-pur- reporting he is “responsive, professional and pose vehicle managed by Citigroup Property Jurevicius Balciunas & Bartkus thorough” while at the same time “approach- Investors on obtaining a term loan and a VAT Jurevicius Balciunas & Bartkus has grown able and friendly but with gravitas”. The team loan for ﬁnancing a 15 million acquisition from 26 lawyers to 46 over the last 18 months has been reinforced with a couple of signings of real estate. and in July 2007 Lina Mikaloniene and Iraida in the last year, most notably of Ausra The ﬁrm has also been active on the regu- Zogaite were also promoted to partnership. Cukauskaite who had been a senior specialist latory side, advising MAN Investment on the Nevertheless the ﬁrm will miss Tomas Kairys at the EU programmes management depart- provision of cross-border investment services who has left the practice during the same peri- ment of the Ministry of Finance. into Lithuania and the offer of interest in od. In other developments the ﬁrm became a The ﬁrm has been cashing in on the investment funds, as well as counselling a sub- member of the Pinsent Mason Luther Group booming M&A market with a number of sidiary of a US bank, authorized by the UK in December 2006. acquisition ﬁnancings. In the largest a team Financial Services Authority, on the provision The team has ploughed on with work in the advised JPMorgan Europe, the security agent of cross-border financial services into debt capital markets, most markedly providing in an 8.9 billion syndicated loan for the Lithuania under the Banking Consolidation advice to one of the largest Lithuanian banks acquisition of TDC Group. The practice also Directive. on the issuance of more than 170 million counselled ING bank on the 825 million Eurobonds on the London Stock Exchange. reﬁnancing of the acquisition of Paroc Group, Leading lawyers and Credit Suisse on the 300 million Ruslanas Bronikovas Banking finance for the acquisition of Lithuanian Irmantus Norkus mobile telecom company Bite. Recommended ﬁrms In other recent work the ﬁrm advised on Tier 1 the 30 million syndicated loan to Siauliu Sorainen Lideika Petrauskas Valiunas ir partneriai Bankas arranged by HSH Nordbank and Led by Kestutis Adamonis, Sorainen’s eight- Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich. lawyer banking and ﬁnance team has been Tier 2 thriving on the increased activity of foreign Bernotas & Dominas Glimstedt Leading lawyers banks and ﬁnancial institutions in Lithuania Norcous & Partners Gediminas Reciunas and the rest of the Baltics. The ﬁrm has repre- Sorainen Giedrius Stasevicius sented a string of global ﬁnancial institutions Sutkiene Pilkauskas & Partners in recent times. But it has also continued to advise the key local players including the two Tier 3 Bernotas & Dominas Glimstedt largest banks in Lithuania, Hansabankas and Foigt & Partners/Regija Borenius Along with Lideika Petrauskas, Bernotas & SEB Vilniaus Bankas, and has been involved Foresta Dominas Glimstedt is the ﬁrm that market in more than 50 cases in the ﬁeld in the last Saladzius & Partners participants report seeing most regularly in year. banking and ﬁnance transactions, and the Among the year’s highlights the firm Banks are beneﬁting from the ﬂurry of M&A team is held in very high regard. One rival advised HSH Nordbank on the on a 38.5 activity and there has been a lot of business in summed up the market consensus: “Bernotas million syndicated loan to Lithuanian bank acquisition financing. Foreign banks have and Dominas are very highly regarded experts Nefco in granting loans to a number of farm- been keen to participate in the Lithuanian in the Lithuanian market”. ers in Lithuania; and Citycon, a Finnish shop- www.iﬂr1000.com 2008 EDITION Mergers and acquisitions | Lithuania 555 ping centre business, on ﬁnancing an acquisi- Deutsche Bank concerning its provision of for its involvement in the sale of a controlling tion in Lithuania. short-term and long-term loans totalling stake in Siauliu Plentas, a Lithuanian road The ﬁrm has also been very active on the 300 million for the acquisition of the lead- construction company. regulatory side. One representative example of ing Lithuanian mobile phone operator Bite Last year the ﬁrm notably advised a syndi- the ﬁrm’s clientele is Coface Austria, which Lietuva. cate of Lithuanian and foreign investors on the practice has been counselling on develop- the acquisition of a group of Lithuanian pro- ing trade credit insurance products in the Leading lawyers ducers of industrial equipment, comprising Baltics. Dalia Foigt Rolvika, Robiga and their related companies. Tomas Rymeikis Leading lawyers Leading lawyers Kestutis Adamonis Mergers and acquisitions Egidijus Bernotas Rita Svedaite Gediminas Dominas Recommended ﬁrms Remigijus Jakutis Tier 1 Sutkiene Pilkauskas & Partners Bernotas & Dominas Glimstedt “[Jonas] Pilkauskas and [Eugenija] Sutkiene Lideika Petrauskas Valiunas ir partneriai Lideika Petrauskas Valiunas ir are lawyers of high reputation,” said one mar- partneriai ket observer, and everybody else seemed to Tier 2 Lideika Petrauskas Valiunas ir partneriai has agree. Clients praised the “creativity” of the Norcous & Partners consolidated its premier status making two pair and the speed of their service. Sorainen recent lateral hires, most noticeably Rimantas Over the last year the ﬁrm’s banking prac- Sutkiene Pilkauskas & Partners Stanevicius from Norcous & Partners in tice has been most active undertaking regula- October 2006. With 16 lawyers now special- tory assignments advising clients such as Bank Tier 3 izing in M&A, it boasts the largest corporate Polski, the largest commercial bank in Poland, Foigt & Partners/Regija Borenius law team in Lithuania. and MoneyGram Payment Systems on regula- Jurevicius Balciunas & Bartkus The ﬁrm has also been prospering from tory issues related to setting up their opera- the ﬂurry of M&A activity and its activity in tions in Lithuania. Tier 4 this respect is only rivalled by Bernotas & The team also notably acted for the Foresta Dominas Glimstedt. Dovile Burgiene comes Association of Lithuanian Brokerage Firms in Saladzius & Partners in for special mention from competitors for parliament during the adoption of amend- being “extremely efﬁcient” and the team as a ments to the Law on Public Trading in M&A is very lively in Lithuania across the whole is commended by clients for having Securities. Additionally the practice represent- board, but particularly in the real-estate sec- “good transactional management skills”. ed Danske Bank and its pension fund man- tor. Private-equity funds are extremely active The practice worked on the largest M&A agement subsidiary in obtaining regulatory and are now closing many more of the larger transaction in Lithuania in recent years, advis- permits from the Bank of Lithuania and the deals than industrial conglomerates. Increased ing Yukos on the 1.15 billion sale of its Lithuanian Securities Commission. competition for targets has created a sellers’ equity and associated interests in Mazeikiu market and public tenders are becoming more Nafta, both the largest Lithuanian company Leading lawyers and more popular. Scandinavian investors and the largest oil reﬁnery, oil pipeline and Marius Matonis have been active in the market for years, but offshore terminal complex operator in the Jonas Pilkauskas recently there has also been a great inﬂow of Baltic States. In another standout deal a team Eugenija Sutkiene investment into Lithuania from Poland, with worked on the transfer of a communications notable acquisitions in the pharmaceutical networks business to international joint ven- and energy sectors. ture Nokia Siemens Networks. Foigt & Partners/Regija This level of activity had not abated at the Borenius time of writing with the ﬁrm busy helping The ﬁrm has responded to a series of depar- Bernotas & Dominas Glimstedt Inchape with its acquisition of the wholesale tures, most notably of notably Ausra Bernotas & Dominas Glimstedt has been and retail chain of Ford, Mazda, Hyundai and Mudenaite, by bringing in some fresh talent thriving on the recent M&A boom, picking Mitsubishi vehicles in Lithuania, while also in the form of Julija Kirkiliene and Jurgita up much of the biggest-ticket work because of counselling ECE Group on an investment in Karvele. its solid standing in the market. Remigijus a joint venture for the construction and oper- The practice’s banking mandates are main- Jakutis in particular is singled out by the mar- ation of a shopping mall in Vilnius. ly for legal opinions to local commercial ket for being “top of the M&A tree”. One banks and advice to foreign banks on local rival said: “Remigijus Jakutis is very good. He Leading lawyers regulatory issues. In these respects the ﬁrm is results-oriented and we recommend him.” Dovile Burgiene counselled Depfa Bank on public procure- And Gediminas Dominas is a favourite of Zilvinas Zinkevicius ment procedures with respect to providing clients, who praise him for being “calm and ﬁnancing for various public-sector entities, as creative in negotiations”. well as delivering a legal opinion regarding the This year the practice has turned heads Norcous & Partners repayment of the 70 million loan granted by counselling an investor in the 500 million Norcous & Partners has had a role on a num- the Lithuanian Division of Nordea Finland to acquisition of the leading Lithuanian mobile ber of the jurisdiction’s larger transactions Sanitas Polska. operator; providing legal support to a over the last year and one leading rival opined The ﬁrm had a taste of more glamorous Lithuanian investment company on the that the ﬁrm is the third most powerful legal work when it acted as local adviser to acquisition of a textile producer Drobe; and M&A operation in the country. 2008 EDITION www.iﬂr1000.com 556 Lithuania | Project ﬁnance The practice has certainly been taking focusing on the communications sector in procedures for the sale of shares in Bite advantage of the roaring real-estate market, Europe as a short-listed bidder in the acquisi- Lietuva, representing one of the leading representing Arco Real Estate, for example, in tion of Bite. Scandinavian mobile phone operators. the auction sale of the SEB Vilniaus Bankas In a standout deal in 2006, the practice portfolio. This consisted of 26 properties in Leading lawyers represented Icelandic transportation company 11 cities. The ﬁrm has also beneﬁted from Kestutis Adamonis Eimskip in its acquisition of Kursiu Linija, a banking consolidation, advising a client in the Raminta Karlonaite sea freight delivery line. purchase of one of the leading banks in Baltic In other highlights in the same year, the region. firm acted for CapMan, a private-equity The practice also had involvement in the Sutkiene Pilkauskas & Partners house, in the acquisition of Tamro MedLab sale of UAB Bite’s subsidiaries in Lithuania Sutkiene Pilkauskas & Partners has an impres- business unit from Tamro Group, and helped and Latvia. The team represented the seller, sive line-up of corporate lawyers, which was Codan increase its interest in Lietuvos TDC, in one of the largest deals in Lithuania recently bolstered by a few acquisitions of its Draudimas, a Lithuanian insurance company. over the past few years, with a value exceeding own: Ignas Darguzas and Ramunas The deal involved the acquisition of shares 400 million. Svencionis. Eugenija Sutkiene is considered to from the European Bank of Reconstruction Another recent deal saw Norcous & be one of the best M&A practitioners in the and Development and the International Partners counsel a Lithuanian retailer in con- market and “clients really like her for her busi- Finance Corporation. sumer goods on a Lit1 billion ( 290 million) ness approach”. One client said: “Eugenija is merger with a competing chain. helpful in ﬁnding solutions when negotiations Leading lawyers are in a stalemate because she’s creative.” Dalia Foigt Leading lawyers Vilius Bernatonis also goes down well with Tomas Rymeikis Irmantas Norkus clients, one reporting that he is “very calm and never gets personal”, adding that he is a strong Project ﬁnance negotiator. Sorainen Sutkiene Pilkauskas & Partners has cer- Recommended ﬁrms Sorainen has experienced signiﬁcant growth tainly welcomed the inﬂux of private-equity Tier 1 in both business and personnel, growing from funds into the country, assisting a host of Bernotas & Dominas Glimstedt 18 to 30 fee earners in 2006. The M&A team them with investments into the jurisdiction. Lideika Petrauskas Valiunas ir partneriai was boosted in particular by the arrival of two A team from the ﬁrm notably represented a partners, Laimonas Skibarka and Tomas consortium of funds on its intended acquisi- Tier 2 Milasauskas, and senior associate Agne tion of mobile phone operator Bite Lietuva. Foigt & Partners/Regija Borenius Jonaityte. The ﬁrm is becoming a Lithuanian The practice also advised Arcapita on its Norcous & Partners M&A powerhouse, underlined by its involve- 225 million acquisition of a rock wool insu- Saladzius & Partners ment in all of the ﬁve largest transactions in lation manufacturer, Paroc Group, in Sorainen Lithuania in 2006. Respect from market par- September 2006. Sutkiene Pilkauskas & Partners ticpants is especially reserved for Raminta At the time of writing the ﬁrm was advis- Karlonaite who is reputedly “very good at ing Ukio Banko Investicine Grupe, one of the Tier 3 ﬁnding the solutions”. biggest Lithuanian private-equity investors, Foresta In the largest transaction in the Baltics in on the privatization of Tvornica Lakih Jurevicius Balciunas & Bartkus 2006, the practice assisted Poland’s PKN Metala, a Croatian producer of aluminium Orlen with its $2.34 billion takeover of products, while at the same time counselling At the national level, the political will needed Mazeikiu Nafta, the largest oil concern in the the same client on the privatization of for project ﬁnance is lacking. These structures Baltics, which enabled the client to gain a Aluminij Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina. can attract controversy and criticism, and are leading position in the central and eastern considered by Lithuania’s delicately balanced European oil processing market. Leading lawyers government to be a political risk too far. On the private-equity front a team advised Jonas Pilkauskas But this is not the case at the municipal Citigroup Venture Capital International and Eugenija Sutkiene level, where a number of public-private part- Amber Trust on an investment in the nerships (PPPs) are underway. “Municipalities Lithuanian pharmaceutical company AB are more dynamic and under greater ﬁnancial Sanitas, the objective of which was the indi- Foigt & Partners/Regija pressure,” explained one lawyer. “There is rect acquisition of Jelfa Pharmaceutical Borenius stronger economic pressure and incentive for Company, a Polish pharmaceutical company. Foigt & Partners/Regija Borenius has been left municipalities to do PPP because they have less The total transaction value was 150 million reeling by a number of recent departures. But money and must provide adequate services.” and the deal was one of the largest private clients were still very complimentary of the One recent development has caused the investments in the Baltics. service they have received, commenting that politicians of Vilnius to relax their cautious Among the year’s other highlights, the remaining lawyers are “very precise in stance. The EU has ordered the country to Sorainen counselled Citycon, a Finnish shop- their advice and explain the practicalities well” shut down its elderly Ignalina nuclear facility, ping centre business, on its 14.6 million and that they have found them “good at which was activated in 1984. Lithuania has acquisition of the entire share capital in UAB explaining how the system works and what we adopted a law to enable the construction of a Rimvesta, which owns the Mandarinas shop- needed to do”. replacement plant, at a potential cost of Lit22 ping centre in Vilnius. The ﬁrm also gave Although competitors say that they see less billion ( 6.37 billion). This will be funded by guidance to one of the largest mobile opera- of Regija Borenius than in recent years, the investors from the country’s Baltic neigh- tors in Poland and a private-equity fund ﬁrm was present in the controlled auction bours, as well as from Poland. www.iﬂr1000.com 2008 EDITION Project ﬁnance | Lithuania 557 If the development is successful, it may yet ﬁrst PPP projects in Lithuania related to the instil conﬁdence in project ﬁnance among the reconstruction and management of educa- jurisdiction’s many doubters. tional establishments in the city. The team received a boost with the arrival in May 2007 of Jolita Mikalkeviciute from a Lideika Petrauskas Valiunas ir position as head of the legal department at partneriai SEB, the largest commercial bank in Giedrius Stasevicius heads Lideika Petrauskas Lithuania. Valiunas ir partneriai’s eight-lawyer ﬁnance and tax group, which is responsible for some Leading lawyers of the largest project ﬁnancings in the juris- Jonas Pilkauskas diction. Eugenija Sutkiene Among the ﬁrm’s noteworthy mandates, it has been advising Lietuvos Energija, Lithuania’s largest power company main oper- Other notable ﬁrms ator, on the 300 million Lithuania-Poland Jurevicius Balciunas & Bartkus’s practice has electricity interconnection project. a strong project ﬁnance element. Recently the The practice is also counselling DEG, a firm demonstrated its prowess advising subsidiary of KfW Bankengruppe, with Bouygues Batiment International, a French respect to the 52.5 million project ﬁnancing construction company, in one of the biggest of a polyethylene terephthalate plant in Lithuanian concession projects. This concerns Klaipeda and assisting UAB Nordetanolis on the construction and operation of a sports and the project ﬁnancing of a new bioethanol entertainment arena with a value of more than plant. 100 million. Leading lawyers Dovile Burgiene Giedrius Stasevicius Foigt & Partners/Regija Borenius Foigt & partners/Regija Borenius has not been very active on the project ﬁnance front over the last year. The ﬁrm did however coun- sel the operator of Technopolis, a technology park, regarding the investment possibilities for foreign investors. Other recent work includes numerous land transfers and real-estate developments. For example the ﬁrm has advised YIT Kausta, a Finnish construction company, on the development of various housing projects. Leading lawyers Tomas Rymeikis Sutkiene Pilkauskas & Partners Sutkiene Pilkauskas & Partners is a beneﬁcia- ry of the trend towards municipal PPPs and has earned itself quite a reputation for exper- tise in this area. For this reason the practice was engaged by the country’s public Tuberculosis and Infectious Diseases University Hospital to conduct a legal feasibility study on a potential PPP project. The ﬁrm also acted for a client in two con- cession projects related to the provision of healthcare services and management in Vilnius, as well as advising the Vilnius munic- ipality on the implementation of one of the 2008 EDITION www.iﬂr1000.com