Shearman & Sterling has advised Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited on its acquisition of Praktiker Hellas AE, headquartered in Athens, Greece. The acquisition is still subject to customary creditor committee approvals.
Based on sales, Praktiker Hellas AE, with annual sales most recently of EUR 195 million, is the largest foreign company in the Praktiker Group. Praktiker Hellas AE has 14 stores in Greece and 1,100 employees. In a structured competitive bidding process, Mr. Christopher Seagon, insolvency administrator of Praktiker, had in the final stages still negotiated with multiple interested investors, with Fairfax having submitted the best overall bid for all parties involved. Fairfax will take over all stores and all employees, and Fairfax plans on continuing the company under the name of Praktiker.
Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited is a Canadian financial services holding company which, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in property and casualty insurance and reinsurance and investment management. Fairfax, known for building long-term shareholder value since 1985, has a long successful track record of investing in international companies with a strong potential for growth (including in Greece and throughout Europe). Fairfax is a long-standing client of Shearman & Sterling.
The Shearman & Sterling team advising Fairfax consisted of lead partners Thomas König and Andreas Löhdefink (both Frankfurt-Mergers & Acquisitions/Corporate); partner Winfried Carli (Frankfurt-Bank Finance); counsel Matthias Weissinger (both Frankfurt-Bank Finance) and Mathias Stöcker (Frankfurt-Antitrust); and associates Aliresa Fatemi, Carsten Bernauer, Andreas Piepers (all Frankfurt-Mergers & Acquisitions/Corporate) and Astrid Mayer (Tax).