Norton Rose bags role on KKR’s first private equity deal in Turkey

Norton Rose‘s strategy of targeting Turkey-based deals has paid off, with the firm landing a lead role on Turkey’s biggest private equity transaction to date.

The top 15 firm advised the shareholders of Turkish shipping company UN Ro-Ro in their sale of a 97.6 per cent stake to US private equity giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) for £640m.

KKR, looking to Turkey for the first time, turned to longstanding adviser Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, as well as White & Case on the deal. Partners Tony Keal and Mark Pflug led at Simpson Thacher, while corporate partner Meltem Akol led for White & Case. The firms also advised KKR on financing for four new “ro-ro” boats – so called because lorries can roll on and off their decks.

White & Case, which has a Turkish office, led on local law and on the share-purchase agreement, drafted under English law. Debt finance was provided by GarantiBank and Türkiye Is Bankasi, advised by Clifford Chance.

Norton Rose partnered with Salans Turkish ally Özel & Özel Attorneys At Law to advise the sellers. Corporate finance partner Simon Cox led for Norton Rose while name partner Haluk Can Özel led on local law.

Norton Rose has advised on several key Turkish deals recently, including the £910m IPO of Türkiye Halk Bankasi, when the firm advised the Turkish Republic as a selling shareholder.

As well as Russia, India and China, Norton Rose has plumped for Turkey rather than Brazil as a key emerging market.

Cox said: “We’re very happy partnering with local Turkish firms. We have no plans to open an office there.”