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WFW advises Piraeus Bank on loan portfolio acquisition from HSBC13 June 2023

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Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) advised Piraeus Bank S.A. (“Piraeus Bank) on the acquisition of a circa US$265m portfolio of 26 bilateral loan facilities from HSBC Bank plc (“HSBC”).

This transaction resulted from HSBC’s decision to sell its Greek shipping portfolio, of which Piraeus Bank acquired the highest number of loans. The deal involved initial due diligence of 30 loan facilities and preparing bespoke assignment documentation to reflect the terms of agreement between the two banks, as well as the transfer of securities governed by many different national laws.

Piraeus Bank, headquartered in Athens, leads a group of companies that cover all financial activities in the Greek market (universal bank) and represents the leading bank in Greece in terms of customer loans and deposits.

London-based HSBC is an international banking and financial services group and the largest Europe-based bank by total assets.

The cross-border WFW team that advised Piraeus Bank was led by Athens Assets & Structured Finance Partner Alexandros Damianidis, supported by Senior Associates Dimitrios Beis and Miltiadis Koktzidis, Associates Andreas Papachristodoulou, Nikoletta Triantafyllou, Giannis Galanos and Stefanos Konstantinidis and Paralegals Channa Prosalentis and Catherine Chrysovitsanou.

London Capital Markets Partner Rob McBride and Associate Kristina Buckberry advised on ISDA-related matters, with New York Assets & Structured Finance Partner John Benson and Paralegal Greg Pastore assisting in relation to the Marshall Islands and Liberian law elements of the transaction. Singapore Assets & Structured Finance Partner Andrew Nimmo and Associate Lyssetta Teo also advised on matter of local law relevant to their jurisdiction.

Alexandros commented: “We are delighted to have been able to help Piraeus Bank successfully close in a very short time frame a transaction that involved complex issues arising from the transfer of securities governed by the laws of the significant number of jurisdictions involved. That we were able to do so highlights our deep expertise across our international network”.

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