Freshfields and Gleiss scoop €12.5bn Austro-German bank merger

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Gleiss Lutz have bagged the lead roles on Europe’s latest multi-billion euro bank merger.

Freshfields laid on a four-partner team for client UniCredit on its €12.5bn purchase of Bank Austria Creditanstalt from HypoVereinsbank (HVB), advised by Gleiss Lutz.

The mandate comes after Freshfields advised Italian bank UniCredit on its €15bn (£10.11bn) merger with Germany’s HVB in June this year.

UniCredit and HVB have merged but HVB is still a listed company with outside shareholders, meaning the transfer of Bank Austria to UniCredit could only go ahead after an HVB shareholder meeting.

The Freshfields team was led by global corporate head Andreas Fabritius in Frankfurt, with corporate partner Eberhard Seydel in Munich. Vienna-based partners Maria Pflügl and Thomas Zottl were also on the team.

Gleiss Lutz partner Wirth led the team advising HVB.