Our Corporate and M&A team has represented one of our long-term clients Linas Agro Group on their exit from Russian and Belarussian markets. More than a year ago, with the acquisition of KG Group, Linas Agro Group became the indirect owner of companies in Russia and Belarus. The companies were prepared for sale, and the search for potential buyers started at the end of 2021.
“We had planned to sell companies in Russia and Belarus without a hurry; unfortunately, the situation has changed radically. The war in Ukraine has disrupted negotiations with the buyers we already had. The process of finding buyers was restarted, and intensive negotiations with several buyers followed. We had no expectation that we would sell the companies on the terms we expected back in early 2022. Negotiations and fine-tuning the sale details took some time, so we are delighted to have finally completed this difficult phase”, said Darius Zubas, Chairman of the Board of Linas Agro Group.
It was a very complicated transaction as due to geopolitical reasons not only the valuation had many discounts, but the environment of the transaction was intense as well. Furthermore, it was cumbersome due to banks prohibiting any money transfers between the EU and Russian and Belarussian businesses. Lastly, it involves high risks for the client as it is recognised as being from an unfriendly country, meaning that any disputes on Russian soil would not be gentle. We have had to structure the transaction swiftly and conveniently for the client by making sure that all precautions are implemented for the transaction to be at least reasonably safe.
We are happy to assist the client on such a complicated matter. We are proud to be trusted to lead transaction requiring significant negotiation and project management skills. Lastly, we are delighted to contribute to the idea of exiting the Russian and Belarussian markets.