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Normunds Bergs, Chief Executive Officer, SAF Tehnika
In the Mergermarket league table, COBALT is a leader among Baltic law firms in the CEE region and takes the second place among all region's law firms. According to the agency, during the period from January to December 2018 COBALT in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia advised on a total of 35 deals valued USD 1,258 million (taking into account that a number of deal values are confidential and not included in this amount).
The landmark deal of the year 2018 advised by COBALT was Luminor entering into a strategic corporate partnership with a consortium led by Blackstone. The transaction represents the largest majority stake acquisition of a universal bank by private equity in the last decade globally, and one of the largest M&A transactions in Baltic history, valued at EUR 1 billion. Private equity funds managed by Blackstone acquired a 60% majority stake in Luminor and both Nordea and DNB will continue as holders of 20% of the shares in the bank.
What is more, COBALT advised the European specialist provider of capital solutions for small and mid-sized companies Kartesia in its first investment in the Baltics with the acquisition of Groglass®, one of the world's leading developers and manufacturers of anti-reflective and other high-performance coatings on glass and acrylic for various industries. One more big deal - COBALT advised the major Norwegian investor Reitan Convenience in its acquisition of Caffeine Roasters, a coffee chain currently operating 60 coffee houses in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The acquisition is part of Reitan Convenience vision of becoming Europe's largest convenience operator.
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Valeria Kogan, Chairman of the Board of Smartomica