Akin Gump Advises Agrokor d.d. in Its €6 Billion Debt Restructuring

(London) – International law firm Akin Gump has acted as independent international legal counsel to Agrokor d.d., a leading food and retail conglomerate in Croatia, in connection with the company’s restructuring, or settlement agreement, which completed on April 1, 2019.

The negotiation, agreement and implementation of the settlement plan in relation to Agrokor and its subsidiaries took place under the precedent-setting new “Law on the Procedure of Extraordinary Administration in Companies of Systemic Importance for the Republic of Croatia,” (“the new Law”) which was passed in March 2017 to address the enormous financial difficulties faced by the company.

The settlement plan was approved by the statutory majority of creditors at a hearing held on July 4, 2018 and confirmed by the Commercial Court of Zagreb on July 6, 2018.

The ground-breaking two-year restructuring of around €6 billion of debt was completed once the creditor settlement came into effect in April 2019, enabling the new holding company, Fortenova Group, to take over the operative parts of Agrokor.

This highly complex and large-scale process was a first for Croatia and saved a company of major importance to Croatia, the Balkans and Central and Eastern Europe. It is also the largest financial restructuring to have taken place in Europe between 2017 and 2019 to date.

Akin Gump advised Agrokor in connection with the negotiation and implementation of the settlement plan contemplated by the new Law. Akin Gump was focused on representing the interests of creditors in connection with all matters relating to the settlement plan, including devising structures to deal with issues arising from international sanctions concerns and challenges made to the claims of international creditors. Akin Gump also structured and documented the new equity and convertible bond arrangements.

The restructuring was named ‘International Company Transaction of the Year’ at the 2019 TMA Turnaround and Transaction Awards.

The Akin Gump team was led by financial restructuring partners James Roome and Liz Osborne in London, supported by partners Sophie Donnithorne-Tait, Axel Vogelmann, Vance Chapman, John Clark, Davina Garrod, Jasper Helder, counsel Jon Webb, Markus Käppler and Scott Pettifor, with associates Harpreet Hundal, Jakeob Brown and Rachel Beddoe.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 900 lawyers in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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