Poland: Weil Gotshal sets the pace

Author: | Published: 1 Dec 2006
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Recommended firms
Tier 1
Dewey Ballantine Grzesiak
Weil Gotshal & Manges
Tier 2
Allen & Overy
Baker & McKenzie Grszczynski
Clifford Chance Janicka Namiotkiewicz
Linklaters
Soltysinski Kawecki & Szlezak
White & Case W Danilowicz W Jurcewicz

In Poland overall M&A activity grew between the opening 10 months of 2005 and the same period this year. While the volume of both private and public equity deals grew, only public equity deals enjoyed an increase in cumulative value. The combined worth of private equity transactions actually fell from 2005 to 2006.

Public equity activity grew in terms of both volume and value. The first 10 months of 2005 yielded 244 public equity deals; that figure was 301 for 2006. The cumulative value of those deals rose correspondingly, from $5.6 billion to $6.7 billion. Private equity activity, however, tended towards a greater number of deals at a lower value. Twenty transactions in the first nine months of 2005 became 26 in 2006, but their overall value fell from $1.2 billion to $962 million.

The top tier of 2005 has been trimmed to just two firms in 2006. White & Case has dropped to the second tier, leaving Dewey Ballantine Grzesiak and Weil Gotshal & Manges as the remaining tier one firms. White & Case's slip to the second tier has been attributed to client inactivity, while Dewey Ballantine and Weil Gotshal have been busy in 2006.

Most notably, in May Weil Gotshal advised PKN Orlen in the largest foreign acquisition in Poland's history. PKN Orlen acquired 53.7% of shares in Lithuanian AB Mazeikiu Nafta, from Yukos International, for around $1.5 billion. Pawel Rymarz and Rafal Zwierz were the lawyers involved in the deal.