A&O and Freshfields lead as Maersk sails into Russian cargo market

Allen & Overy (A&O) and Freshfields have taken the lead roles on a strategic partnership between the ports arm of Danish shipping group AP Moller-Maersk and logistics group N-Trans, which owns a controlling stake in Russia’s Global Ports Investments.

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The deal will see APM Terminals, which Maersk owns, purchase a 37.5 per cent stake in Global Ports from N-Trans for an estimated $860m (£534m) and will value Global Ports at an estimated $2.3bn (£1.4bn).

It is one of the largest foreign direct investments in Russia’s transportation industry to date and highlights the growing diversification in the Russian economy, which has latterly been dominated by oil and gas transactions.

A&O acted for APM Terminals, with Amsterdam-based corporate and securities partner Tim Stevens and Russian capital markets head James Roe leading an English, Dutch and Russian team.

Freshfields advised N-Trans, fielding a team led by Moscow-based corporate partners Sebastian Lawson and Dmitry Surikov alongside London corporate partner Sarah Murphy.

The partnership will see N-Trans reduce its stake in Global Ports from 75 per cent to 37.5 per cent, meaning that both N-Trans and APM Terminals now have equal stakes in the Russian group.

Global Ports, which raised £359.3m on the London Stock Exchange last year (2 April 2012), owns container terminals across Russia and on the Pacific and Baltic Sea coasts. As a result, 25 per cent of both APM Terminals and N-Trans’ stakes will be listed in London.

The deal is due to be completed towards the end of the year.

Background to this deal:

Freshfields advised Global Ports on its £359.3m London IPO in June 2011. Murphy and Surikov led on the offering, with Clifford Chance’s Adrian Cartwright and John Connolly acting for the underwriters (2 January 2012). Surikov is the primary relationship partner for N-Trans at the firm.

A&O is a longstanding adviser to APM.