Schoenherr advises creditor bank consortium on Mercator debt restructuring

Schoenherr has advised an international consortium of creditor banks on the successful circa €1bn (£800m) debt restructuring and refinancing of Slovenia’s Poslovni sistem Mercator dd and its subsidiaries.

Schoenherr acted as lead counsel to the co-ordinator, Erste Group Bank, and the co-ordination committee —consisting of Nova Ljubljanska banka dd, Ljubljana; Raiffeisen Bank International; SKB banka dd Ljubljana; UniCredit Banka Slovenija dd; and VTB Bank (Austria) — of the more than 50 creditor banks.

Mercator group is one of the largest Slovenian corporate groups and the leading retail chain in south-eastern Europe. Schoenherr advised the creditors in all of the jurisdictions involved in the matter, namely Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia.

On 9 June 2014, Mercator group, its creditor banks and financial lessors signed the comprehensive documentation for Mercator group’s financial restructuring.

The Schoenherr team was led by Vienna-based partner Martin Ebner (practice group head, banking and finance) and Slovenian attorney Vid Kobe.

The core team also included Vienna-based banking and finance lawyers Stefan Paulmayer (attorney at law), Leopold Höher (attorney at law) and Laurenz Schwitzer (associate).

The transaction team further consisted of partners Christoph Lindinger and Wolfgang Höller, as well as Ana Filipov (partner, Ljubljana), Bojan Brezan (attorney at law), Primoz Rojac (senior associate) and Jurij Lampic (associate) in Slovenia; Arijana Petres (partner, Zagreb) in Croatia; Petar Kojdic (attorney at law) and Dusan Obradovic (associate) for Bosnia and Herzegovina (both located in Belgrade); Milos Lakovic (attorney at law) and Dejan Boric (associate) for Montenegro (both located in Belgrade); and Matija Vojnovic (partner), Petar Kojdic (attorney at law) and Luka Lopicic (attorney at law) for Serbia.

Houlihan Lokey acted as financial adviser for the co-ordination committee.

Clifford Chance and Jadek & Pensa (Ljubljana) served as legal advisers to Mercator group, which was also advised by Lazard and PwC.