Baker & McKenzie acted for KBC Group on its acquisition of 92.5 per cent of Absolut Bank. The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, values the bank at $1bn (£500m). The firm has a long history of working in the CIS since the launch of its Moscow office in 1989. The KBC deal played on the strength of the relationship between the firm’s London and Moscow offices. The team was led by London-based corporate partner Gordon Low and his Moscow-based equivalent Sergei Voitishkin. They were assisted by associates Ekaterina Afinogenova in London and Dmitry Marchan in Moscow. Linklaters advised Absolut Bank. KBC provides financial services for retail and banking customers and small and medium-sized enterprises.