Linklaters and Skadden advise on Greek banking merger

Linklaters and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom have scored top roles advising on the merger of Greece’s second and third largest banks.

Matthew Middleditch
Matthew Middleditch

The merger of Alpha Bank and Eurobank will create an entity with €147bn in total assets, making it the biggest lender in the cash-strapped country and among the top 25 largest eurozone banking groups.

A Skadden team led by global transactions co-head Scott Simpson and M&A partner Lorenzo Corte acted as international counsel to Alpha Bank, alongside Greek co-counsel Pantazis Karamanolis of Karamanolis & Associates.

A team from Linklaters represented Eurobank on the deal, with a team including corporate partners Matthew Middleditch and Michael Sullivan, capital markets partner Nigel Pridmore and competition partner Christian Ahlborn.

The boards of directors of the two private sector banks have reached agreement on the combination, which will create a major presence in South Eastern Europe with a network of more than 1,300 branches across eight countries and top three market positions in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Romania and Serbia.

Alpha Bank chairman Yannis Costopoulos, who is the proposed chairman of the new group, said the merger was seen as a decisive step in strengthening the private sector economy in Greece amid the country’s sovereign debt crisis.

The merger is expected to be approved by both banks in November with the legal merger completed by mid-December.