Sorainen advised Nordea, the largest financial services group in northern Europe, on combining operations with DNB in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to create the leading main bank in the Baltics with strong Nordic roots.

“Combining knowledge of the Baltic market, close cooperation with our customers and developments in digital banking, Nordea has over the years built a solid and successful bank in the Baltic region with a strong position as number three in the Baltics. Now it is time to take the next step and build for the future. Together we will have the scale, stronger geographic presence and broader product offering enabling us to become the main bank for customers in the Baltics,” says Inga Skisaker, Head of Banking Baltic Countries, Nordea.

Together, the banks will also run an even larger and more competitive retail business. The combined bank will maintain a forceful geographic presence, with Nordea’s strong Estonian position and DNB’s solid footprint in Lithuania and  Latvia. Nordea and DNB Baltic operations respectively employ 1,300 and 1,800 staff and control EUR 8 billion and EUR 5 billion in assets.

Nordea and DNB will share equal voting rights over the combined bank, while maintaining different economic ownership levels that reflect the relative equity value of their contribution to the combined bank at the time of closing. The transaction is conditional upon regulatory approvals and conditions, and is expected to close around Q2 2017. The banks will operate independently until all necessary approvals have been received.

Sorainen advised Nordea on all Baltic legal issues related to the transaction, from assistance with structuring the transaction to due diligence and negotiating transaction documents, plus regulatory and other matters.

The pan-Baltic Sorainen team was led by partners Rūdolfs Engelis, Tomas Kontautas and Reimo Hammerberg, and included senior associate Daiva Liubomirskienė and specialist counsel Mantas Petkevičius in Lithuania, Santa Rubîna and Jânis Bite in Latvia, with Jane Eespõld and Piret Lappert in Estonia.