Bonelli, White & Case lead on €2.5bn Generali acquisition

Italy’s Bonelli Erede Pappalardo, White & Case and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom have scored roles on Italian insurance company Generali’s €2.5bn (£2bn) acquisition of a 49% stake in Generali PPF Holding (GPH) in Central and Eastern Europe.

Generali, Europe’s third-largest insurer after AXA and Allianz, will acquire the remaining stake in the joint venture from Czech company PPF in two phases, taking over 25% in March 2013, with the remaining 24% by the end of 2014.

At the same time, GPH, which has around 14 million clients across 14 CEE countries, will sell its consumer finance insurance operations in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan to PPF for an €80m (£65.6m) sum.

Bonelli advised Generali on the acquisition fielding a team led by corporate partner Giorgio Fantacchiotti, supported by name partner Sergio Erede, corporate partner Gianfranco Veneziano, banking partner Giuseppe Sacchi Lodispoto and competition partner Massimo Merola.

Fantacchiotti commented: “At a time when uncertainty continues to impact deal activity within the eurozone, this encouraging development demonstrates the value that the Central & Eastern Europe area represents to healthy corporates such as Generali.”

Generali also instructed Skadden, where London M&A partner Lorenzo Corte, corporate finance partner Pranav Trivedi, banking partner Clive Wells and Moscow co-head Dmitri Kovalenko advised on English and Russian law aspects. De Brauw Blackstone Westbroeke provided advice on Dutch law matters.

Meanwhile White & Case was instructed by longstanding client PPF, running a team comprising Prague corporate and commercial partner Damian Beaven, private equity partner Michal Smrek, antitrust partner Ivo Janda, London dispute resolution partner Charlie Lightfoot and Milan banking partner Ferigo Foscari.

White & Case advised on the initial joint venture between PPF Group and Generali in 2007, while Skadden previously provided counsel to Generali on two major bond issues worth a combined value of £1.3bn in the same year.