Foreign Direct Investment

Our Firm has been involved in shaping the modern legal investment framework in Greece. We supported the Hellenic Republic in preparing and drafting of Law 4635/2019 which significantly transformed the investment, legal and regulatory frame by overhauling licensing and regulatory requirements and reducing red tape, streamlining the private sector's interaction with State authorities and enhancing incentives granted to both local and international investors.

 

We also assisted the Hellenic Republic with the submission of the national resilience plan to the European Commission for approval as part of the EU Recovery and Resilience Fund. This facility is of paramount importance for Greece, since it aims to attract sustainable investments that promote green and digital transformation.

We have years of experience in advising foreign investors in complex and high-profile cross border transactions. We help them navigate through the assessment and implementation, legislative and licensing aspects of their investments in Greece in the private and public sectors.

Structuring Foreign Investments, Compliance and Risk
We guide clients throughout the investment cycle on the full spectrum of issues arising in the investment process, from structuring and incentives to governance and regulatory compliance. We provide a seamless cross-practice service, advising on the tax structuring of investments, transfer pricing, antitrust, environmental, employment and immigration issues, and have extensive experience in applying for merger clearance before the Hellenic and European Competition Authorities. We take a proactive approach in mitigating risks associated with potential investments and advise on restrictions, disputes and the FDI screening regimes that may apply.
Foreign Investments Expertise
We have advised in numerous large-scale brownfield and greenfield investments in the banking, financial, real estate & hospitality, insurance, telecommunications, energy, infrastructure projects, health services, technology and retail sectors. We are a go-to firm for leading domestic and international investors participating in major privatisations, projects, corporate and finance transactions in the public and private sectors.
Recent Experience
CVC Acquisition of Vivartia Holdings SA
We advised CVC on the acquisition by Venetiko Holdings SMSA, a Greek company invested in by funds managed or advised by CVC, of c. 99.47% of Vivartia, as well as on the financial restructuring of Vivartia’s group bank debt.
Astir Palace Vouliagmeni Resort Acquisition
We advised Jermyn Street Real Estate Fund IV LP, a fund managed by AGC Equity Partners, acting through its subsidiary Apollo Investment ΗoldCo, in its capacity as the leading member of the consortium being the successful bidder in the international tender of the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) and the National Bank of Greece for the privatisation and re-development of the Astir Palace Vouliagmeni resort, located on the Attica Riviera.
Acquisitions of Private Hospital Operators by CVC Affiliates
We advised CVC in connection with the successful acquisition by certain of its special purpose affiliates of all the shares or controlling stakes in each of Hygeia SA, IASO General SA and Metropolitan Hospital Group which are operators of leading Greek private hospitals.
Alexandroupolis LNG Project
We act for Gastrade in relation to the development of the Alexandroupolis Independent Natural Gas System (INGS), a c.€360m cutting edge technology project comprising an offshore floating unit for the reception, storage and regasification of LNG and a system of a subsea and an onshore gas transmission pipeline.
Piraeus Financial Holdings €1.38bn Capital Raising
We advised Piraeus Financial Holdings on its successful capital raising of €1.38bn pursuant to an institutional offering through a bookbuilding process outside Greece and a public offering to retail and qualified investors in Greece, as well as on the admission of its newly issued shares to trading on the Athens Exchange.
Hipoges Iberia Purchase of Majority Stake in Alsvit
We advised Hipoges Iberia SL with respect to the purchase of a majority stake in the Greek private company Alsvit, one of the top tier local real estate services providers, serving credit institutions, international investors and NPL servicer companies.
CVC Acquisition of Ethniki Insurance
We are advising CVC in relation to the acquisition of a majority stake in Ethniki Hellenic General Insurance from National Bank of Greece and entering into a long term bancassurance agreement.
Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB Pipeline)
We advised the joint venture company ICGB AD on the development of the Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB Pipeline), which will provide a direct link between the national natural gas systems of Greece and Bulgaria with an entry point in the vicinity of Komotini and an exit point in the vicinity of Stara Zagora. The IGB Pipeline will act as a strategic gas transportation infrastructure providing diversification of gas supply to the Bulgarian and South East Europe gas market and supply security to Greece.
Link Group Acquisition of Companies
We advised the Link Group on the Greek leg of their acquisition from Pepper Europe Holdings PTY Limited acting as the principal seller, of entities within the Pepper Group of companies established in European countries, including England, Cyprus, Spain and Greece, including a licensed NPL servicing company Greek subsidiary.
Trans Adriatic Pipeline AG (TAP) Project
We advised a consortium of international financing institutions including the European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on the project financing of TAP’s development of a c.871km gas pipeline connecting to the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline from the Greek – Turkish border and running through Greece and Albania to Italy, connecting with the Italian natural gas distribution system near San Foca, under the sponsorship of AzTap GmbH, Snam Spa, BP Gas Marketing, Fluxys Europe, Enagas Internacional, SLU and Axpo Trading.
Amerra Capital Management Acquisition of Majority Stakes in Nireus and Selonda
We advised Amerra Capital Management LLC, Mubadala Investment Company PJSC and Andromeda Seafood Sociedad Limitada in the latter’s acquisition of majority stakes in Nireus SA and Selonda SA, two major Greek fish farming companies with vast international activities, from the four Greek systemic banks pursuant to a private transaction and subsequently by Nireus and Selonda’s minority shareholders pursuant to two mandatory tender offers, and through the acquisition of Selonda and a subsequent MTO, 100% of Perseus SA, a Greek company specialising in fish feed production, with a transaction value of over €500m.
Japan Tobacco Acquisition of SEKAP
We advised Japan Tobacco International in their acquisition of Greek Cooperative Cigarette Manufacturing Company SA (SEKAP SA) through a Dutch entity in the context of a major cross border transaction including tobacco companies in Greece and Russia. Japan Tobacco International is a leading global tobacco company, listed on the Nikkei, which operates in over 70 countries and sells its products in more than 120 countries. SEKAP SA is the Greek Tobacco Industry of Xanthi, active in the production, distribution and trade of cigarettes and tobacco products in the Greek as well as the international market.
Saint-Gobain Acquisition in Chemical Products Sector
We advised the Saint-Gobain group, a globally operating market leader in building materials, in their acquisition of 100% of two chemical products companies, and are currently advising on the merger of the two acquired companies, as well as on the group’s day-to-day corporate, employment and tax matters.
Media-Saturn-Holding (MediaMarkt) and Olympia Group Ltd Joint Venture
We advised Media-Saturn-Holding GmbH (MediaMarkt) and Olympia Group Ltd in the merger of the operations of Media Saturn Electronics Hellas Commercial and Holding AE with Retail World SA to establish a new joint venture company, bringing these two major electronics and electric appliances companies together in the Greek and Cyprus markets.
Public Power Corporation €1.35bn Capital Raising
Bernitsas Law acted as Greek law counsel to Goldman Sachs, Citi, National Bank of Greece, Alpha Bank, Eurobank, Piraeus Bank, Optima Bank and Euroxx Securities in connection with (i) Public Power Corporation’s €1.35bn capital raising pursuant to a non-preemptive share capital increase and an offering of new shares to qualified and other eligible investors outside of Greece through a bookbuilding process and to retail and qualified investors in Greece through a public offering, and (ii) the listing of the new PPC shares on the Athens Exchange.
Motor Oil (Hellas) Corinth Refineries SA Issuance and Offering of €400m Principal Amount of Unsecured Senior Notes
We acted as Greek law counsel to Motor Oil (Hellas) Corinth Refineries SA (MOH) in connection with the successful issuance and offering to institutional investors pursuant to a bookbuilding process of €400m aggregate principal amount of unsecured senior notes due 2026, which were listed on the Global Exchange Market of Euronext Dublin.
Piraeus Bank Inaugural €500m Green Senior Preferred Bond
We acted as Greek law counsel to Piraeus Bank on the issuance and offering to institutional investors of its inaugural €500m Green Senior Preferred Bond, and the listing thereof on the Euro MTF market of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.
CVC Indirect Acquisition of Majority Stake in Dodoni SA
We act as transaction counsel to CVC in connection with the indirect acquisition of a majority stake in Dodoni SA by Venetiko Holdings SMSA, a Greek company invested in by funds advised or managed by CVC and the entering into a shareholders’ agreement with the current shareholders of Dodoni SA.
Patra - Pyrgos - Tsakona Motorway
We advise Olympia Odos Concession Company SA, a company established by VINCI, HOCHTIEF and major Greek construction companies, in relation to the concession contract for the design, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the Elefsina-Korinthos-Patras-Pyrgos-Tsakona Motorway. We are currently advising on the project and finance documents for the reintegration of the Patras-Pyrgos section into the concession project, including on the refinancing of the existing loans received for the sections of the motorway already in operation.
Eurobank Issuance of €500m Senior Preferred Instruments
We acted as Greek law counsel to Eurobank SA in connection with the issuance and offering to institutional investors pursuant to a bookbuilding process of €500m principal amount of Senior Preferred Instruments due 2028 and the listing thereof on the Euro MTF Market of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.
PIMCO Public Power Corporation Securitisation
We advised PIMCO in connection with the securitisation of PPC receivables (Zeus portfolio) under electricity invoices that have been outstanding for more than 90 days. The transaction involves senior notes held by PIMCO, Carval and Deutsche Bank, a junior note held by PPC and servicing and sub-servicing arrangements for the portfolio. It also accommodates a revolving period for the transfer of additional portfolios, as well as an intercreditor agreement and security arrangements in connection with both the Zeus portfolio and another securitised portfolio of PPC receivables (Energia portfolio).
Acquisition of Marinas
We advised CVC in the successful acquisition through funds advised or managed by it of the Greek, Croatian and United Arab Emirates (UAE) businesses of D-Marin, a leading operator of premium yacht marinas in the Mediterranean and United Arab Emirates (UAE), from the Doğuş Group, a leading Turkish conglomerate.
Cosco Shipping Acquisition of 60% Stake in PEARL SA
We advised Cosco, acting through Ocean Rail Logistics SA, in their acquisition of 60% of Piraeus Europe Asia Rail Logistics SA (PEARL).
CYTA Cyprus Sale of CYTA Hellas to Vodafone
Bernitsas Law advised CYTA Cyprus in their sale of CYTA Hellas SA to Vodafone-Panafon Hellenic Telecommunications Co. SA, with a transaction value of €118m.
iHeartMedia Acquisition of Radiojar
We advised RCS Europe Sarl, a company owned by the leading global media entertainment group iHeartMedia, Inc, in their acquisition of 100% of the share capital of Radiojar Information Technology SA, a cloud-based audio platform in which European Investment Fund and Piraeus Bank participate via the Jeremie Program to support Greece-based entrepreneurs.
Värde Partners Acquisition of Trastor SA
We advised Värde Partners in their acquisition of a controlling stake in Trastor, a Greek listed real estate investment company, by purchasing existing shares in Trastor held by Piraeus Bank and subscribing for new shares in Trastor issued pursuant to a rights issue.
Recognitions