Clifford Chance Badea advised J.C. Flowers & Co. in the sale of First Bank sale to Intesa Group
Loredana Ralea and Daniel Badea, Clifford Chance Badea

Clifford Chance Badea has advised J.C. Flowers & Co. in the closing of the First Bank sale to Italian-based group Intesa, thus marking the exit of the American private equity fund from Romania.

The sell-side advising mandate ends an excellent collaboration that began more than 6 years ago, when the lawyers coordinated by Daniel Badea (Managing Partner) and Loredana Ralea (Counsel) advised J.C. Flowers & Co. in their debut transaction on the local banking market. At that time, the takeover of Piraeus Bank marked a first for the local banking industry – the first investment fund to become a shareholder in a Romanian bank, with the approval of the National Bank of Romania. Later in 2019, J.C. Flowers & Co.-owned First Bank took over Leumi Bank Romania.

Counsel Loredana Ralea says: "Today marks the end of an important chapter for our clients, who have completed a very successful investment cycle. We thank the J.C. Flowers team for placing their trust in us. We were honoured to stand by them throughout their presence in Romania, during which they developed a solid and relevant business for the local banking industry. We also thank the First Bank team for their faultless professionalism and contribution to the successful completion of the sale process." 

Daniel Badea, Managing Partner of the Clifford Chance office in Bucharest, adds: "The successful long-term collaboration with one of the most important American investment funds reflects Clifford Chance lawyers' commitment and ability to provide our partners with professional excellence and know-how at international standards. We continue to stand by large investors who believe in the Romanian market potential and contribute to the development of the local economy."

The transaction for the First Bank sale was signed at the end of October, but its closing was subject to approval by the National Bank of Romania, the European Central Bank, and the Competition Council.

The Clifford Chance Badea team included experienced lawyers in M&A transactions in the financial services and investment funds industry, with important contributions from Radu Costin (Senior Associate), Maria Moga (Associate), Eleonora Udroiu (Of Counsel), Ștefan Dinu (Counsel), and Roxana Barboi (Associate). The English law aspects were covered by Alex Cook, M&A partner in the Clifford Chance Prague office. 

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